Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been a lightning rod for controversy ever since he pushed back against the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols when the league introduced the restrictions back in June. Beasley called the NFL’s COVID rules “crazy” in the summer and said the “players association is a joke” for agreeing to the NFL’s terms that are “not for the players.” Now, Beasley is sure to stir the pot with his latest decision to give an unvaccinated NFL fan free tickets to road games in a way to skirt the Bills’ COVID regulations at home games.
The Buffalo Bills announced on Tuesday that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement to gain entry to home games at Highmark Stadium. For the home games on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, fans will be required to furnish proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting on Oct. 31, Bills fans will need to be fully vaccinated to see their team play at Highmark Stadium. Children under the age of 12 do not need to be vaccinated, but are required to wear a face mask. A negative coronavirus test is not an option.
“We’ve worked collaboratively with the county over the last several weeks, months, all throughout the pandemic,” Ron Raccuia, the vice president of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which owns the BIlls, said. “We are looking to provide the safest environment for our fans that we possibly can. We’re thankful for this collaboration. We feel like this is the right move going forward.”
The Bills become the fourth NFL team to require proof of vaccination to attend home games, joining the Seattle Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders, and New Orleans Saints.
Some Bills fans strongly objected to the vaccine mandate. Two unvaccinated fans voiced frustration over the new vaccine mandate since they had already purchased tickets for future games when only vaccinated people would be allowed to go to Bills home games.
“Sad day for me as a Buffalo fan,” a Bills fan said on Twitter. “I was bringing my 10 year old daughter to her first game in December all the way from Albuquerque. Already bought tickets. I won’t get the shot so now I don’t know what to do. I probably need to sell the tickets and find an away game.”
Beasley responded to the Bills fan in New Mexico by offering the fan free tickets to an away game.
“If you find an away game you are able to go to then I will buy the tickets for you guys,” Beasley replied. “DM me names and every thing snd [sic] I’ll figure out the best way to make it happen. Wish she could witness the mafia!”
The Bills fan, Chris Hauquitz, told the Buffalo News that Beasley was working on getting him tickets to the Oct. 10 game in Kansas City.
“I’ve had Covid, so in my opinion, I’ve already got the antibodies,” Hauquitz said. “I think they’re just as good as the vaccine. The vaccine came out pretty rushed. I don’t really know all the information. In my opinion, there’s so little information out there and it all seems to be one-sided. And then, personally, my religious beliefs. I think God created me for a purpose. He has a plan for my life. And whether I have the vaccine or not, I’m taken care of.”
Beasley previously said it is his “personal choice” as to why he decides not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In June, the slot wide receiver said, “That means I don’t have to explain to anyone why I do what I do. Just like everything else in my life.”
Another Bills fan was disappointed to see the vaccine mandates implemented at home games, and Buffalo long-snapper Reid Ferguson offered him free tickets to an away game.
“Well damn. Was so excited to see the @BuffaloBills play at home for the first time ever, especially being from Nebraska. But I guess the new rules for the stadium will keep me out. I guess I’ll have to watch @SnapFlow69 from the parking lot if I even go to Buffalo now,” the fan wrote on Twitter, and tagged Ferguson on the tweet.
Ferguson replied, “I hear you brother. If you can find your way to an away game this year, tix are on me.”
This content was originally published here.