Bills WR Beasley rather retire than follow NFL COVID rules

Sports

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) makes a catch during NFL football practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley does not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and insists he will not follow rules jointly adopted by the NFL and NFLPA requiring unvaccinated players to stay clear of people.

Tweeting in response to criticism over the last 24 hours of his stance on social media, Beasley confirmed Friday he is not vaccinated and will “live my one life like I want to regardless.”

“I will be outside doing what I do,” he tweeted. “I’ll be out in public. If your (sic) scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated … I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living.

“I’m not going to take meds for a leg that isn’t broken. I’d rather take my chances with Covid and build up my immunity that way …I’ll play for free this year to live life how I’ve lived it from day one. If I’m forced into retirement, so be it.”

Beasley said a lot of players agree with him and but many are not established veterans. The 32-year-old who is entering his 10th season wants to represent those players, he tweeted.

Beasley tweeted that his has spoken with the players’ association since initially ripping them on their agreement with the league.

The new policy applies to training camp and the preseason. It restricts unvaccinated players while allowing vaccinated players to return to near normalcy, which made Beasley think the union was not representing all the players.

Beasley tweeted Friday morning a confirmation of The Athletic’s report that the NFLPA had reached out to him earlier in the day and come to an understanding regarding certain aspects of the policy.

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.

Unvaccinated players will be required to tested 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 Cole is the difference between the protocols for those vaccinated and those not after high-risk exposure to COVID-19.

Unvaccinated players will be required to quarantine after high-risk exposure, while vaccinated players will not.

Beasley is entering his third season with the Bills. He had career best of 82 catches for 967 yards in 2020. He has two years and roughly $11.9 million remaining on his contract.

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