This week, Danny reacted to the NFL’s COVID-19 vaccine policy for the 2021 season:
I hope you’re ready for some serious drama in the National Football League this year. Because it’s coming, and it’s coming fast.
Last season, the NFL did a decent job of keeping COVID-19 infections under control. They were able to get through the season and playoffs and Super Bowl without any major issues. But now, as the league prepares to begin training camp for the 2021 season, there’s a new issue on the horizon: Vaccines.
The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to a COVID-19 vaccine policy, which is — in my own personal opinion — absolutely absurd.
The new vaccine rules for the upcoming season will prevent unvaccinated players from even being part of the team outside of on-field practice and games. If you’re an unvaccinated NFL player, you won’t be able to interact with your vaccinated teammates either inside or outside your team’s facility. You won’t be able to workout together, or eat together, or do anything together.
And not only that, but if you’re an unvaccinated NFL player, you can’t even be seen at a restaurant or bar or concert or any other gathering away from the facility. If you’re caught doing so, as an unvaccinated player, you will be hit with a hefty fine, beginning at $50,000 for the first offense.
Basically, if you don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell becomes your overlord. It’s Goodell’s way of saying, “The COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory” without making it “mandatory.”
I do find it hard to believe that the Players’ Association signed off on this madness. And look, I’m not sitting here pounding my chest as an anti-vaxxer by any means. I just don’t think anyone should be forced into taking a vaccine, for anything, even for COVID-19. And what the NFL is doing is punishing unvaccinated players into submission.
Now, that’s the NFL’s intention. But if you think for one second that that will actually happen, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention to those who argue against the COVID-19 vaccine. And there are plenty of people who do. Half the country, in fact.
Professional athletes are passionate about their rights. They’re also the people who pay more attention to what’s going into their bodies than anyone else on the planet. So to think there won’t be a decent amount of players who will question an experimental vaccine is very naive.
At least one player is speaking out against the NFL’s new COVID-19 vaccine policy. That player is Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley, who posted a long rant on social media, saying he refuses to get the COVID vaccine:
“Hi, I’m Cole Beasley and I’m not vaccinated! I will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be out in the public. If your 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. 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. 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.
“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. I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve had. I’ll get to live freely with my wife, kids, and extended family forever. We’d get to enjoy the times that we missed from the sacrifices we’ve had to make just so I could play this wonderful game. So either way, it’s a win/win.
“That’s where I stand. Thank you for everyone who has been supportive throughout this process. A lot of other NFL players hold my position as well but aren’t in the right place in their careers to be so outspoken. I feel for you and I’m hoping I’m doing my part to represent you guys well.”
I can assure you he isn’t alone.
Follow Danny on Twitter and Instagram @DannyPicard.