In the undercurrent of the United States beginning to move past the COVID-19 pandemic, alarm bells have been sounded surrounding the idea that the rights and liberties of individuals are conditional and contingent on receiving a COVID vaccine. As vaccination campaigns continue, the NFL has established parameters that severely limit what players who have not taken a vaccine are able to do -- which has led to one player calling foul.
In a series of posts on his Twitter account on Thursday, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley laid into the NFL Players Association for the COVID protocols it agreed to with the league, which enacts strict protocols that must be adhered to by players who are unvaccinated. Per the NFLPA, unvaccinated players not only must wear masks and be subject to daily COVID testing, but also may not eat with their teammates, be subject to travel restrictions and not leave their team hotels, and are even forbidden from engaging in social media, marketing, and sponsorship activities.
"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," wrote Beasley. "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. So what are we really talking about? I understand completely why the NFL is doing this. It gives them back the freedom to make the most money as possible again if everyone is vaccinated. But will anyone fight for the players or nah?"
Beasley, a veteran entering his 11th NFL season, has previously been outspoken concerning the rights of the unvaccinated. In previous posts on Twitter, Beasley has questioned how unvaccinated people can pass COVID on to people who have received a vaccine, and has urged people to think for themselves on COVID-related issues.
"I don't have a problem with anybody getting the vaccine. That is YOUR choice," Beasley wrote in May. "My problem is everyone is ridiculing and bullying people on here into getting one or thinking the same way about it. It's becoming that way with any issue. This is not OK.
"You're cornering and bullying people to think the way you do. That is not American and not being "mindful" as everyone is so quick to tell me. I'm not an "antivaxxer" as so many people are saying. Although that is nobody's business that is just not true. I'm not a politician nor do I want to be involved in anything political but for some reason that is what the world is coming to. Please try to let people think for themselves. I know that's hard for everyone."
Beasley is entering his third season with the Bills after recording career-highs in catches (82) and yards (967) in 2020, earning second-team All-Pro honors.