Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley isn’t backing down from his stance against getting the COVID-19 vaccine but he is done talking about it.
The veteran wideout made headlines last week when he slammed the NFL and the players union over its updated health protocols for the upcoming season that essentially lifted most restrictions for vaccinated players.
"I don't play for the money anymore. My family has been taken care of. Fine me if you want. My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar," Beasley said in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter Friday. "I will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be out in public. If your [sic] scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated ... I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living."
Beasley said on social media at the time that it’s not about vaccinated vs. unvaccinated but rather the choice – something he felt the new protocols don’t respect.
But on Tuesday, Beasley told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he’s done speaking on the matter, having said all he "needed to say."
"I’m just living a normal life from here on out," he told the outlet. "I’m not trying to sway anybody in either direction. That’s what I am doing and that’s the end of it."
"I don’t want to be any more of a distraction to my team so that’s where I’m leaving it," Beasley added. "Something needed to be said, so I said it. I don’t regret any of it. That’s how I feel."
The league released a memo to all 32 clubs earlier this month informing them of the updated procedures. For unvaccinated players, they will still be required to test every day, wear masks and observe proper social distancing, among other limitations.
They will also still be subject to quarantine after high-risk exposure to COVID-19, while vaccinated players will not – something Beasley heavily criticized.
"This is crazy. Did we vote on this? I stay in the hotel. We still have meetings. We will all be together," his tweet read. "Vaccinated players can go out the hotel and bring covid back into where I am. So what does it matter if I stay in the hotel now? 100 percent immune with vaccination? No."
Other players in the league have expressed hesitation in getting vaccinated. According to the NFL Network, 16 teams have 51 or more players vaccinated, while the other 16 teams have 50 or fewer players vaccinated.