Bills’ Wide receiver’s Cole Beasley and Isiah McKenzie were recently fined $15K for violating COVID-19 protocols. And Sean McDermott is not happy.
For months, the Bills have been one of the talked-about teams when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine and that continued Thursday. Before practice, wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie tweeted out a letter from the NFL, informing him that he was fined $14,650 for failing to wear a mask in the team facility. Fellow wide receiver Cole Beasley also chimed in, when he tweeted:
— Isaiah McKenzie (@_IsaiahMcKenzie) August 26, 2021
“Don’t worry they got me too. But I was wearing a mask when I was in close contact with the fully vaxxed trainer who tested positive and still got sent home. So what’s the point of the mask anyways? Meanwhile, I’m here still testing negative and can’t come back. Make it make sense.”
With one of the lowest vaccination rates in the league, the Bills have an obvious competitive disadvantage should there be a COVID outbreak in the 2021 season. And even though he respects his players’ decisions, HC Sean McDermott is frustrated with their vaccination status’.
Sean McDermott wants his players to get vaccinated.
Sean McDermott opened up about his team’s low vaccination rate in his recent press conference.
“Well, I think when the numbers are the numbers,” McDermott said. “Some people are in a better position potentially than we are at this point just looking on the surface at the numbers. That being said, again, I go back to the personal decision on this thing and I respect our players’ positions. In my personal opinion, it’s right to get vaccinated.”
“[It’s] very frustrating, there are peoples livelihoods at stake in terms of peoples jobs and their performance is judged off of wins and losses,” Sean McDermott said. “Being able to count on people is important, and so, if you’re going through a week and if this was a real week, and having the players out that we’ve had, that makes it hard to win games that way, and that’s the competitive piece of this.”
Sean McDermott says based on the numbers, #Bills are at a competitive disadvantage based on their vaccination rates @WKBW pic.twitter.com/RW86VHEJxM
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) August 26, 2021
Last year, the NFL repeatedly had to reschedule games due to Covid outbreaks within teams, but this is something they won’t be doing this year. As a result, the team responsible for the Covid outbreak may have to forfeit the game entirely.
Here’s more from today’s memo, which also says the team responsible for a canceled game because of an outbreak among unvaccinated players/staff will be responsible for financial losses and subject to potential discipline from the commissioner. Wow. pic.twitter.com/Q86a2WcG1K
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 22, 2021
McDermott was asked today how he believes his message has been received in the locker room.
“Respect is important, but that doesn’t mean I’m not passionate about my position and passionate about what I feel is the right thing to do for the greater good of this country and that in my opinion means getting vaccinated.”