Washington Nationals Sued by Ex-Coaches Over Vaccine Mandate

Two former Washington Nationals coaches who worked in the organization's minor league system are suing the team for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to TMZ Sports. The two pitching coaches — Lawrence Pardo and Brad Holman — filed the lawsuit on Monday, saying they didn't want to take the vaccine for religious regions. The two coaches were fired for not getting the vaccine. 

The documents obtained by TMZ Sports said that Pardo and Holman's requests for exemptions were rebuked by the Nationals. On Aug. 12, the team issued the vaccine mandate, stating if employees did not have at least one shot by Sept 10, they would be fired. Pardo and Holman didn't want to get the shot as they believe the vaccines "were developed from or tested on aborted fetal cells." They are now suing for damages, saying they were discriminated against on the basis of religion. 

The news over the two former Nationals coaches suing the team comes nearly three months after the former Nationals vice president Bob Boone resigned from the team instead of complying with the vaccine mandate. He has been with the team since 2005 and serves as an advisor to general manager Mike Rizzo. Boone's son, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, announced in March that he was vaccinated. 

"As a company, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep one another safe and felt that mandating vaccines was the absolute right thing to do for our employees and our community," the Nationals said in a statement, per ESPN. Nationals star player Juan Soto spoke to USA Today earlier this month and revealed he received the Pfizer vaccine several weeks ago. He is now looking to increase awareness in the Dominican Republic community. 

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"At the beginning, I won't lie to you," Soto said, "(the vaccines) came out really quick and people were scared about it. But at the end of the day, we've got to trust our doctors. It's crazy how good they are and how much they care about the community. We got to trust our lives with them. But at the beginning, yes, I was a little scared." Soto played the entire 2021 season without being vaccinated.