Cole Beasley is reportedly fined for nearly $100,000 for repeated violations of NFL’s COVID-19 policy. The Buffalo Bills wide receiver was placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list for their Tuesday’s draw against the New England Patriots. Since he is unvaccinated, Beasley is expected to miss ten days if he tested positive for coronavirus.
The first of Beasley’s many fines came in August. Some of the 32-year-old’s $14,600 fines were doubled by the league, making him pay nearly $100,000, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported.
“Beasley’s Covid-19 absence today won’t cost him, though. Under NFL and NFLPA agreement, even unvaccinated players are entitled to their full pay if they miss a game due to COVID-19. Beasley makes $4.7 million in base salary, so he still gets his $261,111 game check,” Mortensen tweeted.
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The Buffalo Bills have not revealed if Beasley has tested positive for COVID-19.
Addressing the situation on Instagram, Beasley wrote, “Covid is not keeping me out of this game” but “the rules are”.
“Vaxxed players are playing with Covid every week now because they don’t test. One of my vaxxed teammates is in the hospital missing games. I’m sure he didn’t get this same energy. Thank you for those who support. Everyone else, if you don’t get what’s happening then there is nothing anybody can do for you,” his post further read.
Beasley earns a $4.7 million base salary this season and collected another $2.7 million in various bonuses. He was vocal about his opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine in June. He said that he wasn’t “anti- or pro-vax” but instead “pro-choice.”
The league’s updated COVID protocols allows vaccinated players can return to playing more quickly and asymptomatic ones aren’t required to be regularly tested if they’re vaccinated.
For unvaccinated players like Beasley, the rules remain the same. The ones who test positive for COVID-19 remain away from their respective team for at least 10 days.
“Finally, and based on expert advice, we will adjust the return-to-participation requirements for those who have recovered from COVID-19,” the league said in a statement. “All of these changes are grounded in our data and science-backed approach, with safety our No. 1 goal for the entire NFL community.”
ESPN’s Mortensen noted that the unvaccinated players on the reserve/COVID-19 list not losing out on their game check is one loophole that needs to be revisited for 2022.
Several league executives reportedly believe unvaccinated players should not be paid if they miss games due to COVID-19.