NFL Player Says He Would Rather Retire Than Take COVID-19 Vaccine

By Samuel Allegri
Samuel Allegri
Samuel Allegri
June 19, 2021Updated: June 20, 2021

Buffalo Bills player Cole Beasley has made clear his stance on the NFL’s new vaccine protocols, saying he would rather give up playing than get the COVID-19 shots.

“I will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be out in public. If you’re scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated,” the NFL player wrote on Twitter, “I may die of COVID, but I’d rather die actually living.”

Wide receiver Cole Beasley
Wide receiver Cole Beasley #11 of the Buffalo Bills walks off the field following the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Nov. 15, 2020. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The 32-year-old wide receiver’s message comes as the league, which has been steadily losing viewership for the ninth consecutive year, updated its vaccine protocols, which don’t make vaccination mandatory but order unvaccinated members to be tested daily for COVID-19, wear masks while in team facilities, and not talk to anyone outside of their traveling team while on the road.

“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. I don’t play for the money anymore. My family has been taken care of,” Beasley declared.

“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. I just want to win the Super Bowl and enjoy these relationships that will be created along the way.”

He went on to explain that he is focused on building his immunity by having a better diet and doing exercise to keep healthy.

“I’m not going to take meds for a leg that isn’t broken. I’d rather take my chances with Covid and build up my immunity that way. Eat better. Drink water. Exercise and do what I think is necessary to be a healthy individual. That is MY CHOICE based on MY experiences and what I think is best. 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.”

Other NFL players such as Washington’s Montez Sweat and Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold have also expressed doubt over getting the shots.

The NFL Player’s Association was contacted for comment.