Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley attempted to explain why he hasn't received the COVID-19 vaccine, saying in a statement Wednesday he feels NFL players don't have all the relevant information.
He also said he's unhappy that vaccinated and unvaccinated players are treated differently under the league's updated COVID-19 protocols.
"I'm not anti or pro vax. I'm pro choice," Beasley said in a statement Wednesday. "The issue at hand is information is being withheld from players in order for a player to be swayed in a direction that he may not be comfortable with.
"When dealing with a player's health and safety, there should be complete transparency regarding information... 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."
Here is the full statement:
"Without having all the proper information, a player can feel misguided and unsure about a very personal choice," Beasley wrote about vaccinations. "It makes a player feel unprotected and gives concerns about future topics regarding health and our ability to make educated decisions."
"If your scared of me then steer clear. Point. Blank. Period," Beasley wrote in a statement posted on Twitter [sic]. "I may die of covid, but I'd rather die actually living."
With NFL training camps underway, Beasley said he wanted to be a voice for players who are hesitant or not interested in getting vaccinated.
"Some people think that I am being selfish and making this a 'me' thing," Beasley said in Wednesday's statement. "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.
"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," Beasley added.
Other players and coaches have been hesitant about getting vaccinated, too. Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said in a since-deleted tweet that the NFL's new COVID-19 outbreak and vaccination policies are making him "question" his future in the league.
"Never thought I would say this, But being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL," Hopkins wrote.
On July 24, ESPN's Jenna Laine reported that the league would fine unvaccinated players $14,650 any time they violate COVID-19 procedures this season. Then, on Tuesday, the NFL sent teams updated camp and preseason COVID-19 protocols as players arrived at training camps. Another fine detailed in the memo, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, was a $50,000 penalty for refusing to submit a required COVID-19 test.
With the league's protocols in place, Beasley said the main goal at hand is to keep him and other players safe.
"Safety does not solely mean avoiding the COVID virus," Beasley said. "Our health is 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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