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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Camp notes: Cole Beasley’s vaccine statement, Jerry Hughes and more

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley spoke with the media this afternoon and led off with a statement about the COVID vaccine.

“I wanted to start this off by saying I’m not anti or pro-vax, I’m pro-choice. With that being said, the issue at hand is information is being withheld 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 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. In regard to our overall safety, we have to know that we are armed with full knowledge and understanding that those who are in a position to help us, will always do that based on our situation.

Some people may think that I’m being selfish and making this a ‘me’ thing. But 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 vaccinated they’ll be cut. Agents are being told by teams that guys 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. Over a vaccine that has been 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. The NFLPA is working to have vaccinated players tested more frequently than what they originally stated. A lot of players got the vaccination with the idea that these rules are set in stone, and they’re not. It’s common sense that if a vaccinated or unvaccinated player is tested more 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 league, safety does not solely mean avoiding the COVID virus. Our health is the now, which we are trying to protect with our personal choice. We are doing all the things we did in our protocol during a very successful 2020 season. That’s where the issue has been for me the whole time.”

On how last year effects this season: Beasley: “Getting that close last yr, I was upset we lost, but that was the closest I’ve ever been to getting to the Super Bowl. It made me hungry. I feel a lot of us weren’t ready including myself. It’s a different stage. Now there are no excuses,we have that experience.”

On his teammate Emmaunel Sanders: Beasley on his former college teammate and teammate again, Emmanuel Sanders: “I played 2 years with Emmanuel at SMU and he played in the slot a lot. Separation guy. He brings a lot of juice and energy to this team and I’m excited to play with him again.”

On his quarterback: “I felt Josh was improving every game last season. He’s still a young player. He’s still improving and I’m excited that I get to be here and be a part of it.”

About Jerry Hughes and their social media conversation: “Me and Jerry are brothers. We talked on the phone right after. We weren’t mad at each other. Jerry is a guy I’ll run through a wall for. Not everybody agrees on everything.”

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