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NBA star John Stockton (L) and Spokane Bishop Thomas Daly (R)Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Allsport/Getty Images and YouTube/Screenshot

SPOKANE, Washington (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic head football coach allegedly fired for refusing to violate his conscience over taking the abortion-tainted COVID-19 jab had two high-profile supporters accompany him during a recent court date for his lawsuit.

Nick Rolovich is a devout Catholic who lost his job at Washington State University after he refused to take the abortion-tainted COVID jab; Democratic Governor Jay Inslee had mandated in 2021 that all state employees would be required to take the COVID shot.

NBA legend John Stockton and Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane sat together in the courtroom to share their support for Rolovich’s religious freedom on May 11. Stockton is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and played his entire career for the Utah Jazz. He was born in Spokane and played collegiate basketball at Gonzaga University, which booted him from its games due to his opposition to its mask mandate.

“Stockton said he’d reached out to Rolovich, who was fired along with four assistant coaches in October 2021, and was present to show his support for the former coach,” The Spokesman-Review reported. Daly was formerly a priest at Rolovich’s parish in California.

“When they called into question his Catholic faith early on, I wrote a letter saying I’ve known him, this is not something that he just discovered,” Daly told the newspaper. “He added that Rolovich had consulted with him as he weighed the decision whether to seek vaccination.”

“Rolovich contends that WSU and Athletic Director Patrick Chun fired him without just cause, which under his contract should have entitled him to 60% of the remaining base salary on his $2 million deal that was supposed to run through June 2025,” the Spokesman-Review reported. “Rolovich says he should have been provided a religious exemption to a law requiring state employees to get the vaccine.”

However, the university claims that its former coach “did not raise religious concerns about the vaccine’s development until a deadline approached for him to get the shots, and that WSU’s denial of his exemption was based on its inability to accommodate his coaching under pandemic-related guidelines and skepticism about the sincerity of his beliefs.”

The next step is for U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice to release a ruling on whether the case can proceed.

Rolovich’s legal team has argued that the case should be tried in a state court, not federally.

Ethical concerns about abortion-tainted jabs 

The ethical problems with taking the abortion-tainted COVID jabs have remained an issue of concern for both Catholics and pro-lifers who object to the shot’s connection to aborted babies.

“In regards to the relation between abortion and vaccines, it should be noted that many abortions had to be performed to successfully develop each fetal cell line,” a priest wrote anonymously in an essay published by LifeSiteNews:

Take, for example, the term/name ‘HEK-293.’ HEK stands for Human Embryonic Kidney, and 293 for the number of samples that had to be taken to get a viable line. These samples had to be taken very soon after the abortion. It is unknown how many abortions had to be performed to start this line (or any tainted line) but we do know the relationship between medical-research companies and abortion clinics is live-and-well and, even today, live births are provoked as companies harvest fresh organs for the sake of ‘medical research.’ This process is very horrifying to people of faith who should – to the extent possible – seek religious exemptions from such tainted vaccines. This position is supported by the congregation of Faith (CDF).

Further arguments exploring the moral issues surrounding the COVID shots can be read here, here and here.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in a note that claims it is it morally licit to take the shots, said that no one should be coerced into getting jabbed and it “must be voluntary.”

Government officials across the United States also implemented quasi-vaccine mandates on the entire populace by implementing vaccine passport systems that barred citizens from entering restaurants, movie theatres, and other public places if they did not show their papers.

Former Chicago leftist mayor Lori Lightfoot explicitly said that the purpose of requiring proof of vaccination was to make life difficult for those who choose not to get jabbed.

“This health order may pose an inconvenience to the unvaccinated, and in fact it is inconvenient by design,” Lightfoot, who lost her re-election bid this year, wrote in a December 2021 tweet.