Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley, who says he has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccination, is publicly pushing back against the two sets of protocols in the NFL for vaccinated and unvaccinated players.
Beasley noted in a lengthy Twitter message that many other less-established players 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, published Friday. “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 the post, 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.”
Public Service Announcement pic.twitter.com/XjQicdvnKm
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) June 18, 2021
In a tweet posted Thursday, 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?”
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. But will anyone fight for the players or nah?
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) June 17, 2021
As highlighted by The Associated Press, a new NFL policy applicable to training camp and the preseason “restricts unvaccinated players while allowing vaccinated players to return to near normalcy, which made Beasley think the union was not representing all the players.”
“Under the new policy, vaccinated players will also no longer be required to wear masks at the team’s facility or during team travel. They will have no travel restrictions, can use the sauna/steam room and weight room without capacity limits, and can interact with vaccinated friends and family during team travel,” the AP reported. “Unvaccinated players will be required to tested [sic] for COVID-19 daily and must wears masks in team facilities and during travel. They will also not be allowed to use the sauna/steam rooms, are subject to weight room capacity limits, and may not leave the team hotel to eat or interact with anyone outside of the team traveling party during travel.”
“The biggest issue for Beasley is the difference between the protocols for those vaccinated and those not after high-risk exposure to COVID-19,” the report added. “Unvaccinated players will be required to quarantine after high-risk exposure, while vaccinated players will not.”
Related: ‘This Is Crazy’: NFL Players Sound Off On League’s Vaccine Protocols