Football

‘If I’m forced into retirement, so be it’: NFL player slams sport’s rules over Covid, says he won’t have jab

‘I’ll play for free this year to live life how I’ve lived it from day one,’ Cole Beasley says

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The Buffalo Bills wide receiver wrote in a “Public Service Announcement” on Twitter that he’s “not vaccinated” but that he “will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be out in the public. If [you’re] scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated. Point. Blank. Period.

“I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living. I have family members whose days are numbered. If they want to come see me and stay at my house then they are coming regardless of protocol,” he wrote.

The NFL along with the NFL Player’s Association decided to update their Covid-19 earlier this month, removing most restrictions for those who have been vaccinated.

Vaccinated players will be allowed to eat meals as a group, leave their hotels when they’re travelling to meet with fans and the media, and use saunas and steam rooms, among other activities.

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Players who remain unvaccinated are not allowed to take part in any of those activities. They will also have to be tested for Covid-19 daily, follow social distancing rules, and wear masks, in addition to other guidelines.

The new guidelines apply to summer camps and preseason games. Public health officials and the Biden administration has pushed everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Mr Beasley said on Friday that he doesn’t “play for the money anymore”. He went on to tell the NFL to “fine me if you want”.

“My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar. I love my teammates and enjoy playing ball because all the outside bs goes out the window in these moments,” he said. “I just want to win the Super Bowl and enjoy these relationships that will be created along the way.”

He added: “I’ll play for free this year to live life how I’ve lived it from day one. If I’m forced into retirement, so be it.”

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The Independent has reached out to the Buffalo Bills for comment.

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