It didn’t take a colored wristband or the mask he wore underneath his nose for anyone to know Cole Beasley‘s vaccination status. The Bills receiver has made that clear for weeks, even engaging in social media arguments over the vaccine with teammates.
Whether he intended to or not, Beasley has turned himself into the spokesman for unvaccinated players.
As he met the Bills media corps Wednesday, Beasley read a statement he had written on his cell phone before taking questions. He said he was doing it “out of respect for teammates and coaches” and thereafter would address only football questions.
“I wanted to start this off by saying, I’m not anti- or pro-vax. I’m pro choice,” Beasley said. “With that being said, the issue at hand is: Information is being withheld from players in order for a player to be swayed in a direction he may not be comfortable with. When dealing with a player’s health and safety, there should be complete transparency regarding information that is vital in the decision-making process. Without having all the proper information, a player can feel misguided and unsure about a very personal choice. It makes a player feel unprotected and gives concerns about future topics regarding health and our ability to make educated decisions. With regard to our overall safety, we have to know we are armed with full knowledge and understanding that those who are in a position to help will always do that based on our individual situation. Some people may think I’m being selfish in making this a ‘me’ thing. It’s all about the young players who don’t have a voice and are reaching out to me every day because they’re being told if they don’t get vaxxed, they’ll be cut. Agents are being told by teams that if they have unvaccinated guys, they will not be given opportunities as of now to be seen in workouts. So once unvaxxed players get cut, they’re losing a dream they have worked their whole lives for over a vaccine that has proven to not keep people from contracting COVID as we’ve seen. Every doctor I’ve gone to with questions begins every sentence with “from what we know now,” which tells me we don’t know enough. The NFLPA is working to have vaccinated players tested more frequently than what the NFL initially stated. A lot of players got the vaccination with the idea that these rules were already set in stone, and they’re not. It is common sense that if a vaxxed or unvaxxed player is tested less frequently the likelihood of a player being pulled for COVID drops dramatically. In regard to player safety, I will conclude by saying we all want to be safe. For so many players around the NFL, safety does not solely mean avoiding the COVID virus. Our health is the now and years beyond, which we are trying to protect with our personal choice while doing all the things we did in our protocol during a very successful 2020 NFL season.”
Beasley claimed that was the end of his take about the vaccine. An hour later, though, he tweeted a song he wrote and recorded about vaccination entitled “I Am Not Like You.” The tweet included the words to the song and says it’s his last tweet until the season ends.