Four Western Michigan University student-athletes have asked the Great Lakes Justice Center (GLJC) to bring a federal civil rights lawsuit against their University on their behalf.  These four athletes are all on scholarship on Western’s soccer team. They believe that WMU violated their religious rights.

WMU is mandating that all of their student-athletes receive a Covid-19 vaccine.  If they refuse to get the jab, as they call it, they will be kicked off of their team.  A press release from the Great Lakes Justice Center States that the athletes were allowed to request a religious accommodation starting on August 24, 2021, which all four students did take advantage of.  Once they filed their request all four of them were denied that exemption two days later.  WMU gave them until Tuesday, August 31st to get the Covid-19 Vaccine or they will be thrown off their team.

Western Michigan University currently does not have a schoolwide mandatory vaccination policy.  If you are not vaccinated they are requiring students to go through regular testing. Unvaccinated student-athletes who are granted a religious exemption cannot participate in practices or games, but they will maintain their athletic scholarships.

Right now the four student-athletes are asking the court for “injunctive relief to allow them to remain on their team while litigation is pending”.

The lawsuit argues Western Michigan University officials named in the lawsuit:

"unjustly discriminate against Plaintiffs because of their sincerely held religious beliefs and their viewpoints by mandating that they must take the Covid-19 vaccine in order to participate on Defendants’ college soccer team."

David A. Kallman, Senior Counsel with GLJC, stated:

“WMU should acknowledge and support our clients’ sincere religious beliefs and personal medical decisions. The science and data does not support this action or treating the unvaccinated as second class citizens.”

Professor William Wagner, President of GLJC said:

“The abuse of power by government authorities at WMU stops at the Constitution…and it stops today.”

According to the press release, their Complaint alleges:

  1. Violation of Plaintiffs’ Constitutional Right to Free Exercise of Religion.
  2. Violation of Plaintiffs’ Constitutional Right to Privacy, Bodily Integrity, and to make Personal Medical Decisions.
  3. Violation of Plaintiffs’ Federal & State Statutory Right to be free of Religious Discrimination.

In the same press release the four student-athletes will specifically allege:

  • The Constitution does not allow WMU to deny their First Amendment rights and force them to accept an invasive medical injection against their sincerely held religious beliefs. The Constitution does not become irrelevant or inapplicable during a pandemic.
  • They have a right to privacy, bodily integrity, and personal autonomy. The government should honor a decision made according to sincerely held religious beliefs, especially when the students have agreed to other protective measures like weekly testing and masking. Every person has a right to refuse medical treatment.
  • Violation of their statutory right to be free from religious discrimination under both Federal law and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

The question comes down to who can and cannot force you to put a chemical in your body.  It starts here and ends where?

This report has been updated with the judge’s ruling on whether he gave them their injunctive relied they requested was granted or not.  Please click on the following link to find out how the judge ruled….update.