Bills' Cole Beasley Calls NFLPA 'A Joke' Following Updated COVID-19 Protocols

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 17, 2021

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley runs the ball during the second half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley is not happy with the NFL's new COVID-19 protocols, which allow vaccinated players far more freedoms and have placed more restrictions on the league's unvaccinated players and staff members.

Cole Beasley @Bease11

This is crazy. Did we vote on this? I stay in the hotel. We still have meetings. We will all be together. Vaccinated players can go out the hotel and bring covid back in to where I am. So what does it matter if I stay in the hotel now? 100 percent immune with vaccination? No. https://t.co/g61WM8zAOh

Cole Beasley @Bease11

The players association is a joke. Call it something different. It’s not for the players. Everyone gives me the 98 percent of people who are vaccinated don’t get covid again. The odds of me getting in the NFL and playing for 10 years are lower than that and I’m here.

Beasley tweeted in May that he was unvaccinated:

Cole Beasley @Bease11

I do that without being vaccinated. Is this illegal now? https://t.co/LvWSwEfoAK

In April, Bills' quarterback Josh Allen said he was debating on whether he would get the vaccine or not, updating his stance in May to "we're letting everyone make their own decisions."

"What the right answer is, we’re not sure," he added at the time.

Whether players like Beasley like it or not, however, stricter rules for unvaccinated players simply make sense. Vaccinated players have a dramatically decreased likelihood of contracting COVID-19, with the CDC adding that it's possible vaccinated people who do get the illness may undergo less severe symptoms.

Unvaccinated players or staff members have a far greater risk of contracting the coronavirus and causing an outbreak amongst other unvaccinated members of the organization. 

Adam Fromal @fromal09

I can't help but wonder if Cole Beasley took all the steps he could to maximize his chances of getting to the NFL and playing for 10 years. <br><br>If we're making that false equivalence, let's at least do it right. https://t.co/r80JWuwAvz

Nonetheless, there is a faction of NFL players who are wary of getting the vaccine. Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold told reporters Wednesday he wasn't vaccinated.

"It's everyone's choice whether they want to get vaccinated or not," he said. "For me, I'm staying by myself right now. I don't have a family or anything like that. There's a ton of different things that go into it. I'm gonna evaluate that on my own and make the best decision that I feel like is the best for myself."

Some players are simply doing their due diligence and learning as much about the vaccine as they can before making a decision. 

NFLPA chief medical advisor Thom Mayer told ESPN's David Newton he's received hundreds of calls from players with questions and concerns about the vaccine. He said he's used those calls to help explain vaccine development and safety to enable players to make informed decisions.

"They are serious, thoughtful questions that deserve serious and thoughtful answers," Mayer said. "It's not a fear-mongering thing. It's really and truly honest questions about things that are out there that they're worried about."