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Nationals Part Ways with Employees Due to Vaccine Mandate

Brock Fritz

The Washington Nationals are reportedly the first MLB team to part with employees due to an organizational COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

ESPN reported Wednesday that Nationals vice president Bob Boone told the organization he will resign instead of follow the team’s mandate that all non-uniformed employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The 73-year-old Boone, a former player who has been with the Nationals since 2005, is senior adviser to general manager Mike Rizzo.

Boone isn’t the only Nationals employee who didn’t follow the vaccine mandate for full-time employees, which was implemented last week. According to The Athletic, the team told eight scouts Wednesday that they will not be with the organization next season, including two whose departure is a direct result of the vaccine policy.

“Like many organizations, the Washington Nationals decided to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all full-time staff,” the organization said in a statement. “Employees were notified of this policy on Aug. 12 and had until Aug. 26 to either provide proof of full vaccination, proof of first shot or apply for an exemption.

“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.”

Elsewhere in baseball, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported that former all-star pitchers John Smoltz and Al Leiter will no longer work in studio for MLB Network after refusing the vaccine. MLB Network has mandated all employees be vaccinated.

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