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Bills WR Cole Beasley on COVID vaccine: 'I'm not anti- or pro-vax, I'm pro-choice'

Yahoo Sports US logo Yahoo Sports US 7/28/2021 Liz Roscher

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been very vocal about his COVID-19 vaccine opinions on Twitter for the past several weeks, and reporting to training camp hasn't changed them.

At his media conference Wednesday, Beasley read a prepared statement about his feelings toward the vaccine. He said he's not pro- or anti-vax, he's pro-choice.

Beasley: Players being denied 'proper' info

"I'm not anti- or pro-vax — I'm pro-choice. With that being said, the issue at hand is information 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. It makes a player feel unprotected and gives concerns about future topics regarding health and our ability to make educated decisions."

Beasley, who wore his mask incorrectly while he read the entire statement, didn't go into detail about what information he feels players are being denied or why the information he's receiving isn't good enough. The NFL Players Association and numerous teams have made vaccine information available from multiple sources. 

The Washington Football Team even brought in one of the creators of the Moderna vaccine to speak to players and answer their questions, but hearing from a vaccine creator couldn't convince defensive end Montez Sweat to get the vaccine. According to Jemele Hill, Sweat said that he still needed more facts before getting vaccinated. 

Cole Beasley holding a football ball on a field: Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley shared more of his opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine and why he's chosen not to get it. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley shared more of his opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine and why he's chosen not to get it. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Beasley says his objection is 'all about the young players'

“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’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 unvaccinated 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."

While it's true that the vaccine doesn't prevent someone from getting COVID, it dramatically reduces the likelihood of having severe symptoms or being hospitalized if they do contract COVID. That's the key here, since if an unvaccinated player gets COVID, they have a much greater chance of having symptoms, which not only would keep them out of game action, but could also lead to hospitalization and long-term health problems. That makes vaccinated players much more attractive for teams looking to fill spots on their roster.

Beasley: Safety is about more than avoiding COVID

Beasley also registered his displeasure at the NFL's rules mandating that vaccinated players get tested less frequently than unvaccinated players, and mentioned that the NFLPA is currently working to increase the number of routine COVID tests for vaccinated players. 

He ended his statement by saying that player safety goes beyond being protected from COVID.

"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 while doing all the things we did in our protocol during a very successful 2020 NFL season."

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