At least somebody somewhere is standing up for something.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has declared that he won’t be inoculated against Covid-19 or abide by new NFL restrictions on unvaccinated players, and would sooner be forced into retirement than betray his beliefs.
“I’ll play for free this year to live life how I’ve lived it from day one,” Beasley said Friday on Twitter. “If I’m forced into retirement, so be it. I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve had. I’ll get to live freely with my wife, kids and extended family forever.”
Public Service Announcement pic.twitter.com/XjQicdvnKm
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) June 18, 2021
The message, which Beasley called a “public service announcement,” came after the National Football League sent out a memo earlier this week announcing that players who weren’t fully vaccinated would be required to be tested daily for Covid-19, wear masks, and refrain from leaving the team hotel or interacting with anyone outside the team when traveling. They would also be banned from eating with teammates, using social media, or engaging in sponsorship activities. First-time violators could be fined $50,000, with punishments escalating for repeat offenses.
The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to updated COVID-19 protocols for 2021 training camp and preseason, per source.
How different will life by for vaccinated and unvaccinated players? From the memo that just went to clubs: pic.twitter.com/8yMPW0JBWZ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 16, 2021
Vaccinated players, on the other hand, would be tested once every two weeks, wouldn’t be required to wear masks and would be allowed to visit with friends and family members. They would also be able to take part in commercials and other sponsorship activities, use social media, and move about freely while on team trips.
Beasley ripped into the NFL Players Association on Thursday for agreeing to the new Covid-19 rules. He called the union a “joke,” saying it didn’t truly represent the players. On Friday, he made clear he wouldn’t comply with the league’s new two-tiered framework.
“I will be outside doing what I do,” the Texas native said. “I’ll be out in the public. If you’re scared of me, then steer clear, or get vaccinated… I may die of Covid, but I’d rather die actually living.” He added that he wouldn’t be deterred from getting together with family members, “regardless of protocol.”
“I don’t play for the money anymore. My family has been taken care of. Fine me if you want. My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar.”
Yeah bro, I don’t think you’re going to die of “covid.”
You might get sent to a Kamala Harris death camp, however.