Bills receiver Cole Beasley is good. But he’s not untouchable. And he’s not merely touching a third rail with his anti-vaccine messages. He’s jumping on it with both feet.
Beasley’s lengthy statement from Wednesday has one key line regarding the push to get players vaccinated — “information is being withheld from players in order for a player to be swayed in a direction he may not be comfortable with.” At a time when the NFL wants as many players to get vaccinated as possible, Beasley’s effort to persuade others to believe that they’re being lied to by their teams cuts directly against the league’s objectives.
Although the contexts and issues are dramatically different, Beasley’s effort to get other players to question the quality of the information the teams have provided regarding the vaccines isn’t much different from Colin Kaepernick’s effort to get other players to realize that they all have the right to protest during the national anthem. The biggest risk to ongoing employment in the NFL comes from efforts to make the robots self-aware. Beasley, like Kaepernick, is agitating. Beasley, like Kaepernick, is making players more inclined to do things the NFL doesn’t want them to do.
It’s a risk for Beasley. For his sake, here’s hoping it’s calculated and not random.
Although Beasley is entitled to his beliefs, the NFL has very different beliefs. The NFL wants players to accept its beliefs, and to ignore Beasley’s. It therefore will be interested to see whether Beasley ultimately makes the team in Buffalo and, if not, whether someone else signs him.
Regardless of whether that happens, his candor that cuts against the NFL’s agenda could make him into an anti-vaxx martyr. Which he possibly wants to be.