ORCHARD PARK — Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley spoke with the media on the first day of 2021 training camp and began his press conference by reading a prepared statement regarding his recent comments on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Here is Beasley’s statement in full:
I wanted to start this off by saying I’m not anti or pro-vax, I’m pro-choice. The issue at hand is that 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 players health and safety there should be complete transparency regarding information that is vital in the decision making process. Without having all the information a player can feel misguided and unsure about a very personal choice. It 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 those in position to help us will always do that based on our individual situation. Some people may think I’m being selfish and making this a me thing. It’s all about the young players that don’t have a voice and are reaching out to me everyday because they’re being told if they don’t get vaxxed, they’ll be cut. Agents are being told by teams, if they have unvaccinated guys, they will not be given opportunities, as of now, to be seen in workouts. So once unvaxxed players get cut, they’re losing a dream that they’ve worked their whole lives (for), over a vaccine that has proven to not stop people from contracting COVID-19, as we’ve seen. Every doctor I’ve gone to with questions begins every sentence with “based on what we know now,” which tells me we don’t know enough. The NFLPA is working to have vaccinated players tested more frequently than the NFL stated. A lot of players got the vaccine thinking these rules are set in stone, and they’re not. It is common sense that if a vaxxed or unvaxxed player is tested less frequently, the likelihood of a player being pulled for COVID drops dramatically. In regards 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 that we are trying to protect with our personal choice along with doing all the things we did in our protocol during a very successful 2020 NFL season.
Following his statement, Beasley was asked if he will continue to engage in the vaccine discussion on social media, to which he replied he will not. Although, he gave no indication he will stop using social media.
During the press conference, Beasley was wearing a mask, while Bills QB Josh Allen, Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott were not wearing masks during their media availability.
Allen declined to comment on his vaccination status during his presser. Beane said during his press conference that near 80% of the Bills’ roster has had at least one COVID shot, while the entirety of the Bills’ coaching staff has been fully vaccinated.