Bills players refusing to answer media questions about whether they’ve been vaccinated

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It’s critical for everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s particularly important to NFL teams, as the league will likely relax some of the restrictions on teams once they have 85 percent of their rosters vaccinated. So it’s easy to understand why players are getting asked if they’re doing their part.

On the Bills, players are refusing to answer.

Quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds both declined to talk about vaccines, and safety Jordan Poyer opened his media call by stating that he won’t discuss the subject.

“Real quick, before we start, I’m not going to be answering questions about vaccines. So if you guys can direct your questions all to football, I would love to answer them. All respect. I appreciate it,” Poyer said, via the Buffalo News.

Asked if COVID-19 protocols will affect training camp, Poyer said, “I’m just not answering any questions that have anything to do with vaccines. And I understand. . . . I like camp at St. John Fisher. I like camp here. They’re two totally different places. Camp here, you get all the facility. Camp there, you obviously get the camaraderie with the guys staying. But at the end of the day, that’s not my decision to make.”

Bills coach Sean McDermott has previously said he’s concerned not enough players are getting vaccinated. General Manager Brandon Beane indicated that he might cut an unvaccinated player and replace him with a vaccinated player if it helped the Bills get back to normal, which drew harsh criticism from the NFL Players Association.

66 responses to “Bills players refusing to answer media questions about whether they’ve been vaccinated

  1. As for myself I’ve had both shots of the Pfizer vaccine, plus 2 weeks so mine is in full effect. I had no issues other than after shot two my arm was sore enough to where I put off lawn work for a day but no malaise or feeling poorly. Most of the world is still waiting for a chance to wait in line for what we now are lucky to have readily available with. Can see the Dark reality of the countries that can’t yet like India, Brasil, Turkey. I hope everyone chooses to get vaccinated for your benefit and for everyone’s. I’ve started to return to acting “normal” again and it’s great to feel protected against this as you move about if you haven’t chosen to yet. The prospect of a very good summer and fall awaits so let’s all enjoy it, and enjoy it safely together.

  2. Sure would like all players to get vaccinated and make COVID a non-issue in the NFL.

  3. Good. I’ve had mine but it’s a personal choice and nobody else’s damn business. My employer has taken a hard line that they will not be asking any employees about their vaccination status and they have made it very clear we aren’t to be asking each other about it either.

  4. Just a reminder that medical info is private. The social media crowd treats everything like it’s for public consumption, even private medical info. Just because you share your private medical info doesn’t mean you’re entitled to know others.

  5. Curious, that some have stated that sports figures have a public presence, and a responsibility to conduct themselves with this in mind….

    Half a million dead.

    Measures taken to address this public health pandemic.

    Pro football player and manager won’t discuss whether or not they have been vacccinated?

    irresponsible.

  6. It will be a divisive issue on the team. It already is. The Bills front office and its players have handled this issue badly from the start. By now attempting to make it a non-issue, it becomes the main issue.

  7. I don’t have a problem with this whatsoever. It has never been acceptable been acceptable to publicly ask people personal health questions, and we shouldn’t start now. Also, with the rate that public figures are now getting into trouble for not saying exactly the right thing, it is no wonder that people are hesitant to speak on it.

  8. I fully support people getting vaccinated, but I am delighted to see Bills players refusing to participate in the politics of it.

  9. whether it’s related to those comments or something else, these players are well within their rights. HIPPA exists for a reason.

  10. If the quarterback, a leader of the team, is not vaccinated, they are going to have a problem. That’s a team on the rise and that’s not a distraction they want.

  11. Athletes undergo many treatments that have little, poor-quality, or even zero evidence to support that they work. Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections, cold therapy, heat therapy, cupping, etc. are all widely used. However, randomized clinical trials don’t always support that they’re any better than a placebo. Yet athletes submit to them without question of their safety or effectiveness.

    And here we have multiple vaccines that have been shown in RCTs to be both safe and effective, but some athletes now (all-of-a-sudden) are interested in medicine?

    Sorry, but that is just ignorance. Vaccines aren’t even a medication. They’re just a way to stimulate your own white blood cells to produce antibodies against a pathogen, as if you’d actually been infected with it. They are a true marvel of what human intelligence is capable of.

  12. Good for them, it’s nobody’s business. If you’re vaccinated then you’ve got nothing to worry about.

  13. If someone has a strong conviction against something, for whatever reason (sane or not), it’s still runs deep in the person and so be it. If we all suffer the consequences, then that’s the course of history.

    I’m the first vaccinated generation and I will never forget the older kids with polio in my neighborhood. It’s something you saw everyday.

    If you’ve ever taken a painkiller such as Toradol then you have no ground to stand on. If you truly are an anti vaxxer then accept the consequences; including polio, measles, death and possible job separation.

  14. Players shouldn’t answer any medical related questions. If asked about a vaccine or injury they should just reply “that’s none of your business”!

  15. The media should back off from asking that question. It is an intrusion on their privacy and it is an issue that the players and teams have to work out for themselves.
    That said, the league should not reschedule any games this season. Teams with outbreaks either play with a diminished roster or forfeit. Choices should be had, but they should only come with consequences for their team and themselves, not their opponents.

  16. While I do think people should get the vaccine, that’s not hte issue here. The issue is privacy. Whether I’m vaxed or not, I don’t want a journalist poking around in my business.

  17. I love Beans attitude…. Vaccinating players to protect the best interest of the team & their ability to play all year & be able to field the team they want to field should be the priority…. Cutting non vaccinated players would be a rather wise decision….Agree with comment above, teams that have players that get covid get NO PASS this year because they allowed players to not get vaccinated…. Reap what you sew….
    I’d ALSO inform any player that misses time due to covid (that personally chose not to get vaccinated) will not receive their game checks during that down time…..

  18. Simple. If a team isn’t at least 85% vaccinated, all COVID restrictions should remain in place. That affects travel, practice, daily testing, and fans in the stands. If a team can’t field enough players for game, instant forfeit. No more coddling irresponsible teams and players. Asking the question isn’t an invasion of anybody’s privacy (recent HIPAA ruling backs that up). It’s about public health during a pandemic.

  19. Good for them. It’s nobody’s business as to individual health. Something far too many people seem to forget these days.

  20. ktoast
    Jun 3, 2021, 4:45 AM PDT
    I don’t have a problem with this whatsoever. It has never been acceptable been acceptable to publicly ask people personal health questions, and we shouldn’t start now.

    ———————————————

    It was acceptable last year when the alternative was no games.

  21. After what we’ve been through in the past year? It’s not complicated. Once again humanity’s progress is slowed by the colossally stupid.

  22. myspaceyourface says:
    June 3, 2021 at 8:46 am
    GOOD – None of anyones business.
    ___________

    Actually, public health is everyone’s business. Your refusal to be vaccinated adversely effects everyone around you. And don’t give us the “if you’ve been vaccinated you shouldn’t worry” trope. I, and the public at large, have a vested societal interest in deadly diseases being eradicated.

  23. I’m vaxxed and proud and tell people regularly. They don’t need to tell us who is and isn’t, but I wish they would be good examples of helping us get back to normal

  24. Choosing not to get vaccinated demonstrates an inability to properly assess risk. The risks associated with contracting Covid-19 far outweigh the minuscule risks associated with being vaccinated.

  25. I fully support the use of vaccinations. But this probing into each persons individual choice represents the divisive downfall of our society. I mean, most people are functioning fine — and surprise fact… the majority of people are not vaccinated. So what’s this really about? Football? Try Money. Fear. Control. Get the vaccine if you want to protect yourself in that way. But telling others what to do… ?

  26. collectordude says:
    June 3, 2021 at 9:58 am
    Good.
    Private info only.
    ___________

    Your refusal to be vaccinated is not a private concern. I have a right to know if you are in out public deliberately spreading deadly diseases. I have a right to know if you are sending your unvaccinated children to school thus endangering my children’s health.

    The entire population has an interest in a healthy society, and thus has a right to know if you endangering others.

  27. This has NOTHING to do with privacy of medical information. Vaccinations have been mandatory since 1796! Good grief.

  28. I personally believe that everyone should get vaccinated, but it’s a personal choice. It is completely none of the media’s business whether or not someone decides to protect themselves from the virus.

  29. The EEOC has ruled that employers can require employees to be vaccinated, but there are exceptions.

    If an employee has real medical reasons why they cannot get vaccinated or real religious reasons, they can’t be forced to get vaccinated. For people with real exceptions, the employer has to try to make accommodations. If they can make their workplace safe with the employees wearing masks, distancing, or working from home, then they have to do that.

    But if an employer cannot make the workplace as safe as if everyone were vaccinated, they can legally fire the employee.

    But NOBODY can force ANYONE to reveal if they have been vaccinated. The Buffalo players don’t have to tell the media. But Buffalo can fire any player that they want.

  30. gibson45 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 10:50 am
    collectordude says:
    June 3, 2021 at 9:58 am
    Good.
    Private info only.
    ___________

    Your refusal to be vaccinated is not a private concern. I have a right to know if you are in out public deliberately spreading deadly diseases. I have a right to know if you are sending your unvaccinated children to school thus endangering my children’s health.

    The entire population has an interest in a healthy society, and thus has a right to know if you endangering others.

    ———

    If you are vaccinated, then why does it matter to you?

  31. What a tiresome time we’re in now. So many people focused only on “rights”, but drearily evasive about responsibilities. I want to get paid millions of dollars and be wealthy for playing a game, but I don’t want to have to talk to the press for a few minutes. I want all the benefits of celebrity but don’t want to have to be accountable or behave like a role model.

    It’s a public health crisis that has killed nearly 600,000 Americans, and is only getting in check now due to vaccines. Stop whining, stop listening to what the idiots on talk radio are bloviating about, and just do the right thing for your fellow Americans. Take some responsibility. Be a leader and encourage others to help protect others.

    When did America get so dumb that something this simple became complicated?

  32. The ‘My body my choice’ crowd did some serious flip-flopping when it comes to others getting a vaccine.

  33. So much ignorance in the comments. Sure, players can respond or not. Can be vaccinated or not. But it’s a great opportunity to use their presence in professional sports and being interviewed to encourage health and safety. How do you think covid positivities is dropping? Because many of us have been vaccinated. And the responses of “this doesn’t affect anybody else” is completely ignoring how this virus works. You not getting vaccinated could literally kill somebody else, and you. And none of this is “politics”. Covid doesn’t care who you voted for. It will come after you just the same.

  34. It’s nobody’s business, but if athletes use their position as role models to express an opinion on the issue, they should be willing to disclose if they got vaccinated. If they don’t do so, they can remain silent without anyone having a right to bitch about it. This my choice, my freedom, what do you care if I’m vaccinated or you are crap misses the point. Those that are not vaccinated can spread the disease to those that have yet to be vaccinated or those the have but remain vulnerable. it’s the same logic that restricts your “freedom” to drive 100 mph in a 30 mph zone — safety for others and the greater good.

  35. wafflesoverpancakes says:
    June 3, 2021 at 11:32 am
    The ‘My body my choice’ crowd did some serious flip-flopping when it comes to others getting a vaccine.

    ——-

    I equate this to peoples’ views in religion. You would think that It would be good enough for one to believe what they believe and be content. But many Zealots are not happy unless they know others believe along with them. As for the vaccine, I have had it and could care less if anyone else has had it or not.

  36. footballguy says:
    June 3, 2021 at 11:34 am
    So much ignorance in the comments. Sure, players can respond or not. Can be vaccinated or not. But it’s a great opportunity to use their presence in professional sports and being interviewed to encourage health and safety. How do you think covid positivities is dropping? Because many of us have been vaccinated. And the responses of “this doesn’t affect anybody else” is completely ignoring how this virus works. You not getting vaccinated could literally kill somebody else, and you. And none of this is “politics”. Covid doesn’t care who you voted for. It will come after you just the same.

    ====================================================================================

    There is no shortage of public health officials, politicians, celebrities, etc banging the drum on vaccines. We don’t need to add the Buffalo Bills to this list in order for the public to get the message.

  37. Public health is everybody’s business. They don’t allow our kids to attend public school without all of their vaccinations, so why should a deadly virus that has killed almost 3/4 of a million Americans be any different within the community?

  38. nhpats2011 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 11:11 am
    gibson45 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 10:50 am
    collectordude says:
    June 3, 2021 at 9:58 am
    Good.
    Private info only.
    ___________

    Your refusal to be vaccinated is not a private concern. I have a right to know if you are in out public deliberately spreading deadly diseases. I have a right to know if you are sending your unvaccinated children to school thus endangering my children’s health.

    The entire population has an interest in a healthy society, and thus has a right to know if you endangering others.

    ———

    If you are vaccinated, then why does it matter to you?
    =====================
    It matters because I still have to wear a mask when using public transportation, walking through a train station or airport and when in an airplane. It matters because many of the places I regularly visit still operate with limited capacity and social distancing. It matters because planning for my daughters late-June wedding meant restricting the guest list due to capacity limits (which actually saved me some money, I suppose). It matters because my wife and her colleagues still have to wear a mask and limit visitors to the library where she works.

    Vaccination is a choice, as it should be. But let’s not pretend that a person’s personal choice regarding vaccinations has no effect on others. I don’t need to know if you have been vaccinated, but it certainly matters…

  39. What percentage of the “good, it’s private and nobody’s business” crowd do you think are actually vaccinated themselves? 5%?

  40. nhpats2011 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I equate this to peoples’ views in religion. You would think that It would be good enough for one to believe what they believe and be content.

    =============

    That’s not how public health works. Viruses and vaccines don’t care whether they are believed in, they do what they do regardless.

  41. I’m as pro-vaccination as anybody (please get your shots!) but these questions are inappropriate to ask.

  42. It’s not a HIPAA violation to ask someone if they’re vaccinated. And you have the right to refuse to answer.
    But people should have the right to know if you’re potentially a disease spreader. People should know if and how much they want to interact with you if you’re not vaccinated. People may have serious, valid medical reasons for wanting to know. I don’t understand why anyone would want to keep it secret one way or the other.

  43. Well we know one thing for sure. Buffalo has a lot of stupid or ignorant players or both on their team.

  44. It’s no one’s business… but if you really need to know Just go to the players personal Facebook page if vaccinated it will be on there! Like vegans!

  45. nhpats2011 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 11:11 am
    gibson45 says:
    June 3, 2021 at 10:50 am
    collectordude says:
    June 3, 2021 at 9:58 am
    Good.
    Private info only.
    ___________

    Your refusal to be vaccinated is not a private concern. I have a right to know if you are in out public deliberately spreading deadly diseases. I have a right to know if you are sending your unvaccinated children to school thus endangering my children’s health.

    ———

    If you are vaccinated, then why does it matter to you?
    ____________

    Because of exactly what I said above: The entire population has an interest in a healthy society, and thus has a right to know if you endangering others. Public health is everyone’s business. Your refusal to be vaccinated adversely effects everyone around you.

    Please don’t give us the “if you’ve been vaccinated you shouldn’t worry” trope. I, and the public at large, have a vested societal interest in deadly diseases being eradicated.

  46. tqaztec says:
    June 3, 2021 at 7:46 am
    Private medical information should remain private.

    So I guess player injury status is not medical information? If it is, shouldn’t it be withheld from the public?

  47. For once, I couldn’t agree more. If that were me I would have opened with you can ask me football questions or I will answer every single question with “I am just here so I won’t be fined, Thank You.”

  48. HIPAA is for health care providers, insurance companies, and benefits coverage at your employer. A reporter asking you a question isn’t a HIPAA violation. Your boss telling you to go home from work because you’re sick is not a HIPAA violation.

    I’m fine with these guys refusing to answer, but when (not if) unvaccinated players jeopardize their teams by getting Covid, stuff will hit the fan. NFL Players and coaches are judged by wins and losses. If you get Covid because you refused a vaccination, and your illness results in losing games, you can and should be held accountable for your decision. And holding you accountable is not a HIPAA violation.

  49. The NFL has to walk a very fine line on this issue. They don’t want to seem like they are infringing on the players human rights, but they also have to support big pharma because… their broadcast partners are sponsored by big pharma. It’s potentially a conflict of interest for the NFLA. At some point, a major star is going to take a stand and the Union and the NFL are going to have to face the music here.

  50. The Naomi Osaka effect. She has empowered professional athletes to disregard the media.

  51. 1st, Employers can require their employees be vaccinated and ask their vaccination status. HIPPA just limits what they can do with that information as far as sharing it.

    If I was looking at it as an owner, from a purely business point of view, it would not matter who was vaccinated and who was not as long as 85% of my players were. If less than 85% are, that is where it causes a problem. If the NFL puts restrictions on what I can and can’t do if 85% of my players are vaccinated, then I am at a competitive disadvantage.

    Owners aren’t going to say a guy got cut because he wasn’t vaccinated but it sure will be a consideration, especially if cutting that guy will get them over 85%.

    As long as all players get tested consistently and quarantined immediately most will be at very low risk, however the risk is not 0. Lineman and older players could have issues and we do not know the long term effects on otherwise healthy people.

    As for the media, they have the right to ask and the players have the right to say no comment. Really if a team is at or over 85% it should be a non-issue.

  52. I understand why so many vaxxed people are afraid of the unvaxxed. The so-called vax is EXPERIMENTAL, everyone taking is engaging in an experiment to see if it works or not. Some of us don’t agree to be guinea pigs, some of us do.

  53. Watching the breathtakingly stupid people comment about ‘My body my choice’, as if a pregnant woman had the ability to kill the person next to them by being pregnant. Its the same buffoons who compared Covid deaths to car crashes and heartattacks, blissfully showing their idiocy in not understanding the concept of contagion.

  54. What percentage of the “good, it’s private and nobody’s business” crowd do you think are actually vaccinated themselves? 5%?

    I chose to vaccinate… and it isn’t anyone’s business.

  55. I believe everyone should get vaccinated. I also believe that players have a right to privacy regarding medical issues. This is a complicated situation and unprecedented in our lifetime, but there’s so much public bombast about so many issues these days.

    “Outing” players who don’t want to get vaccinated is the wrong approach, IMO, even though I wish people would just get the shots.

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