Bills WR Cole Beasley calls NFLPA a ‘joke’ after new Covid protocol agreement

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Bills veteran wide receiver Cole Beasley expressed anger with the NFL Players Association Thursday, calling the union a “joke” after it agreed to new Covid-19 protocols for the preseason and training camp.

“Call it something different,” Beasley tweeted. “It’s not for the players.”

The NFL’s memo outlining the new protocols (attached below) says the updates reflect lessons learned from last season, the rollout of Covid vaccines and updated guidance from the CDC. Many rules and testing requirements from the 2020 season remain in place for players and staff members who are unvaccinated, while vaccinated players are exempt from most restrictions. Fines for failing to comply can reach $50,000 for a first offense.

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Beasley, a 35-year-old slot receiver who is coming off a career year, previously expressed his desire to remain unvaccinated. He posted a series of tweets Thursday after seeing a day-old NFL Network report about the new protocols.

In his remarks, Beasley appeared to discount the low odds of getting infected with Covid-19 after vaccination because of his own success beating the odds by making the NFL. He also alleged the league is pushing vaccinations to maximize its revenue.

When a fan suggested the team have players talk with health care professionals about the vaccines, Beasley responded with a comparison to the common flu.

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Beasley has never mentioned the NFLPA before today in his 7,200 tweets.

Bills coach Sean McDermott said last month that he was concerned about not meeting a team-wide vaccination threshold to return to normal meetings this season. He estimated things were 60-70% back to normal.

“It’s important to us and I think it’s for the greater good of not only our team but the community as well, so that’s the direction and the choice that I personally made,” McDermott said of getting vaccinated against the virus that has killed 598,000 Americans in the last 17 months. “I applaude everyone in our building that’s been able to do that and improve our situation here.”

You can view the full protocols below. App users, click here if the file doesn’t load correctly.

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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