ORCHARD PARK – A top wide receiver with the Buffalo Bills is taking a stand against COVID-19 vaccinations.
In a series of tweets, wide receiver Cole Beasley slammed the National Football League Players Association for their decision to retain COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players.
The 32-year-old, who finished the 2020 NFL season with 967 yards and four touchdowns, states in what he calls a “Public Service Announcement”, “I may die of COVID, but I’d rather die actually living.”
The league relaxed protocols for players and staff who are fully vaccinated, including the loosening of COVID-19 testing to once every two weeks, and lifting the face covering requirement at club facilities or during travel. Additionally, vaccinated players and staff who come in close contact with someone who tests positive will not be required to quarantine.
For unvaccinated players and staff, the protocols include daily testing, mask requirements and quarantine after exposure. Unvaccinated individuals must also remain physically distant from others in club facilities, and will not be allowed to eat with teammates or other staff. During travel, they will not be allowed to leave the team hotel.
Beasley claims that he is speaking out for himself and other players in the league that are not as outspoken and that, “If I’m forced into retirement,” says Beasley “so be it.”
Though there has been no comment from the NFL or from the Bills’ organization, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county is rescinding the vaccine requirement to attend Bills games and stadium events.
The Executive altered his earlier decision from April of only allowing fully vaccinated fans in Highmark Stadium based on few new COVID-19 cases, low hospitalizations, and good vaccination rates.
Poloncarz announced zero new cases on Friday and four Sunday, out of thousands of tests. He also says the county will revisit in the future if circumstances warrant it.
The Bills’ first preseason home game takes place Saturday, August 28 against the Green Bay Packers.
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