Despite reportedly racking up some $100,000 in fines for allegedly refusing to comply with protocols set only for unvaccinated players, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley is not backing down from voicing his opinion about the league’s rules — or the vaccine.
Last week, Beasley, who is unvaccinated, took to Instagram to underscore the inconsistency of NFL COVID-19 rules while notifying fans he’d be restricted from playing in an upcoming game because he tested positive for the virus.
“Just to be clear, COVID is not keeping me out of this game. The rules are,” the athlete posted. “Vaxxed players are playing with COVID every week now because they don’t test. One of my vaxxed teammates in the hospital missing games. I’m sure he didn’t get this same energy.”
“Thank you for those who support,” he added. “For everyone else, if you don’t get what’s happening then there is nothing anybody can do for you.”
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Beasley even commented on a Rochester-based Instagram account that used a meme to mock him. The meme said fellow Buffalo Bills players would have to “mentally prepare” to hear Beasley not “[shut the f*** up] about how it [COVID] ‘isn’t even that bad.'”
“What do I need to tell them for? Everyone in the locker room has already had it. Lol,” Beasley mocked back in the comments.
Responding to others, the wide receiver noted that vaccinated people can still transmit the virus.
“How is me being vaccinated gonna help anyone else? Congratulations sir. You saved yourself. You still can get it and pass it to other people. How are you any different than me?” he told one Instagram user.
“Don’t think anyone understands how vaccines work. A vaxxed teammate got it twice before I got it once,” Beasley said in another reply. “Covid isn’t going anywhere. It’s something we are gonna have to learn to live with.”
“I’m not telling you what to do with your life so don’t tell me what to do,” he added. “Thanks.”
Back in June, Beasley said he would not be vaccinated against COVID-19 and noted that many other less-established players in the NFL feel the same way he does, but do not feel they are in a position to make a public challenge. “I feel for you, and I hope I’m doing my part to represent you guys,” he said.
“Hi, I’m Cole Beasley and I’m not vaccinated!” Beasley started the post. “I will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be in the public. If [you’re] scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated. Point. Blank. Period.”
“I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living,” he continued, adding, “I’d rather take my chances with Covid and build up my immunity that way. Eat better. Drink water. Exercise and do what I think is necessary to be a healthy individual. That is MY CHOICE based on MY experiences and what I think is best.”
“I’ll play for free this year to live life how I’ve lived it from day one,” Beasley said. “If I’m forced into retirement, so be it.”
“My way of living and my values and [sic] more important to me than a dollar,” he said.
“A lot of other NFL players hold my position as well, but aren’t in the right place in their careers to be so outspoken,” the 32-year-old closed the post. “I feel for you, and I hope I’m doing my part to represent you guys.”
In a follow-up tweet, Beasley said he understood “completely” the NFL’s move to have players vaccinated but stood his ground on his decision to bypass the jab.
“So what are we really talking about? I understand completely why the NFL is doing this. It gives them back the freedom to make the most money as possible again if everyone is vaccinated,” he wrote. “But will anyone fight for the players or nah?”