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Cole Beasley’s vaccine comments: Timeline of Bills WR’s tweets about NFL’s COVID rules

Cole Beasley got a lot of attention for his play during the 2020 NFL season for his strong play with the Bills. He recorded 82 catches for 967 yards and four touchdowns . . . all while playing on broken fibula from Week 16 on.

However, Beasley has drawn attention for a different reason: his refusal to get vaccinated.

Beasley has made it known that he doesn’t plan on getting vaccinated. He has bashed the NFL’s COVID protocols repeatedly during the offseason and has drawn a lot of negative attention this offseason. That’s part of why he was booed during Buffalo’s Week 4 home game against Houston.

Here’s a rundown of all the controversial opinions Beasley has shared about vaccines via statements and his personal Twitter account.

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Cole Beasley vaccine comments

May 13, 2021: Beasley first tweets about being unvaccinated and also tweets out a couple of basic questions about being vaccinated.

May 14, 2021: Beasley explains that he isn’t an “anti-vaxxer” in a series of tweets. He also laments that people are “divided about everything” and tells people to think for themselves.

June 16, 2021: The NFL and NFLPA agree to updated COVID protocols for training camp and the preseason. The league’s new policy outlines strict differences between what vaccinated and unvaccinated players are able to do while in the team facility and on the road.

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June 17, 2021: Beasley goes on a tirade against the NFL Players Association. He calls the NFLPA “a joke” and makes statistical comparisons between the chances of him have a 10-year NFL career and getting COVID.

June 18, 2021: Hours after confirming that he had spoken to the NFLPA about the COVID guideline changes, Beasley releases a “public service announcement” on Twitter and explains that he is not planning on getting vaccinated. 

“I may die of COVID, but I’d rather die actually living,” Beasley wrote. “My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar.”

June 28, 2021: Beasley makes an in-person statement at Bills training camp. He claims that information is being withheld from players as they make decisions about getting vaccinated.

I’m not anti or pro vax. I’m pro choice. 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, 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 position to help us will always do that based on our individual situation. Some people may think that I’m being selfish and making this a “me” thing. It is all about the young players who don’t have a voice and are reaching out to me every day because they are 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 the opportunity 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 is 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’s 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 by doing all the things we did in our protocols during the very successful 2020 NFL season. 

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July 19, 2021: Beasley continues to rail against the NFL’s rules and claims that they were made because the NFL wants to encourage more players to get the vaccine.

August 24, 2021: A Bills trainer tests positive for COVID, and Beasley, along with fellow Bills receivers Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie, are ruled close contacts. They are unvaccinated at the time and have to stay away from the facility for five days even if they test negative for the virus.

August 26, 2021: Beasley rips the NFL’s COVID protocols once again while absent from the Bills’ facility, and is particularly critical of masks with his comments.

Beasley also explains that he will continue to fight for unvaccinated players rights — as long as he isn’t forced to retire.

September 14, 2021: Beasley offers to buy road tickets for a fan who was unable to attend a Bills game because he is unvaccinated.

October 3, 2021: Beasley is booed during the Bills’ Week 4 contest against the Texans, Buffalo’s third home game of the sesaon.

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October 4, 2021: Beasley calls out the Bills fans for booing him on Twitter. He also beefs with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who criticizes the logic of Beasley’s decision to remain unvaccinated.

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