BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo bills wide receiver Cole Beasley, who has openly opposed the NFL’s policy on COVID-19 vaccinations, tried Wednesday to clarify his stance, saying his complaints about the league concern the different standards for vaccinated and unvaccinated players.
“I’m not Anti- or Pro-Vax – I’m Pro-Choice,” said Beasley, reading from a prepared statement after the Bills’ first training camp. “With that in mind, the problem is with withholding information from players in order to steer a player in a direction they may not be comfortable with.
“When it comes to a player’s health and safety, there should be complete transparency about the information that is critical to the decision-making process. Without all the correct information, a player can feel misguided and insecure when making a very personal decision vulnerable and concerned about future health issues and our ability to make informed decisions. “
The NFL’s policy of severely restricting unvaccinated players and allowing vaccinated players to return to near normalcy has sparked Review from Beasley last month when he tweeted that he was not and would not be vaccinated continue to “live my life the way I want”.
NFL guidelines include more frequent testing, masks, and social distancing in the team facility and during team trips for unvaccinated players.
Most critically, however, Beasley criticized the frequency of the tests: Unvaccinated players must be tested daily according to the guidelines for the preseason and training camp, while vaccinated players only need to be tested every two weeks.
“It is well known that the likelihood of a player being drawn for COVID drops dramatically when a player who has not been vaxxted is tested less frequently,” he said. “When it comes to player safety, I would like to conclude by saying that we all want to be safe.
“For so many players in the NFL, safety isn’t just about avoiding the COVID virus. Our health is the now and the years after that we try to protect with our personal choices as we do all the things we in our log during a very successful 2020 NFL season. “
Bill’s general manager Brandon Beane spoke briefly on Wednesday about the team’s vaccination rate and said it was just over 80%. Beane also said he doesn’t think Beasley or any other player’s comments on the vaccine on social media will detract from the team’s overall focus after training camp begins.
“Sometimes something comes out on social media – you don’t know how to interpret it,” said Beane. “You know, I’ve had a lot of conversations with some of the guys. … Its hard. Guys try to educate themselves, they try to look at all sides. But we have professionals and we allow them to express their opinion.
“As long as there’s no distraction, and that’s where Sean [McDermott] and i did both. We believe nothing is. I think if we play soccer out here on the grass you will see what our boys are focused on. You focus on winning. “
Beasley had a career high of 967 yards with 82 catches last season, his second with the Bills.