Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley railed against the NFL's new and very rigid COVID-19 protocols for training camp and the preseason. Beasley proclaimed that he is prepared to walk away from the NFL, "My values are more important to me than a dollar."
The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed upon new COVID-19 protocols, which are far more critical of unvaccinated players than those who are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated players will face daily COVID-19 tests, must wear a mask in the team facility and during travel, and are barred from leaving the hotel to eat at a restaurant. First violations of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols can result in a $50,000 fine.
Some NFL players voiced their displeasure with the new restrictions as well as the NFLPA. One of the more outspoken players against the strict rules is Beasley, who on Thursday called the restrictions "crazy" and said the NFLPA is a "joke."
There was swift backlash to Beasley's opinions on the NFL's COVID-19 rules, to which he responded to his critics with an even more powerful stance against the new restrictions.
Beasley began his response captioned by declaring, "Hi, I'm Cole Beasley, and I'm not vaccinated!"
"I will be outside doing what I do. I'll be out in the public. If (you're) scared of me, then steer clear, or get vaccinated. Point. Blank. Period," he tweeted on Friday. "I may die of COVID, but I'd rather die actually living."
"I have family members whose days are numbered," Beasley said in response to the NFL's rules that prohibit players from having more than 15 people at their home," Beasley added. "If they want to come and see me and stay at my house then they are coming regardless of protocol."
Beasley, who has two years and roughly $11.9 million remaining on his contract with the Bills, seemed to hint that he is willing to quit or be fired from the NFL over his COVID-19 vaccine stance.
"I don't play for the money anymore. Fine me if you want," Beasley stated. "My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar."
"I'll play for free this year to live life the way I've lived it from Day 1," Beasley said. "If I'm forced into retirement, so be it. I've enjoyed the times I've had ... So either way, it's a win-win."
"I'm not going to take meds for a leg that isn't broken," he wrote on Twitter. "I'd rather take my chances with COVID and build up my immunity that way ... That is my choice based on my experiences and what I think is best."
"I love my teammates and enjoy playing ball because all the outside BS goes out the window in these moments," Beasley continued. "I just want to win the Super Bowl and enjoy these relationships that will be created along the way."
"Thank you for everyone who has been supportive throughout this process," the wideout said.
Beasley said, "a lot of other NFL players" agree with his position on coronavirus vaccinations, but "aren't in the right place in their careers to be so outspoken."
"I'm hoping I'm doing my part to represent you guys well," the second-team All-Pro wide receiver concluded.
Fellow Bills receiver Isaiah McKenzie reacted to Beasley's impassioned message, "I see you out there fighting brotha love it."
In May, Beasley emphasized, "I don't have a problem with anybody getting the vaccine. That is your choice. My problem is everyone is ridiculing and bullying people ... into getting one or thinking the same way about it. It's becoming that way with any issue. This is not OK."
Last month, In May, Bills general manager Brandon Beane answered a hypothetical question about unvaccinated players, which he revealed that he would be inclined to cut an unvaccinated player if it helped the franchise reach an NFL threshold to relax COVID-19 restrictions. However, the NFL reportedly informed Beane that the team could not release a player solely due to his vaccination status.
In 2020, Beasley caught 82 receptions for 967 yards, both career highs.