Fox News Flash top headlines for June 19

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Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley took a strong stance against the NFL and the NFLPA over the league’s updated COVID-19 protocols, saying he would rather retire than get vaccinated. 

“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,” Beasley said in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter Friday. “I will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be out in public. If your [sic] scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated … I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living.”

Beasley is taking issue with the NFL’s new guidelines for training camp and preseason which heavily restricts unvaccinated players while allowing those who have received the vaccine to return close to normalcy. 

The league released a memo to all 32 clubs earlier this week informing them of the updated procedures for vaccinated players, essentially lifting most COVID restrictions.

For unvaccinated players, they will still be required to test every day, wear masks and observe proper social distancing while also being prohibited from social, media, marketing and sponsorship activities, among other limitations. 

They will also still be subject to quarantine after high-risk exposure to COVID-19, while vaccinated players will not — something Beasley heavily criticized in a separate tweet on Thursday. 

“This is crazy. Did we vote on this? I stay in the hotel. We still have meetings. We will all be together,” his tweet read. “Vaccinated players can go out the hotel and bring covid back into where I am. So what does it matter if I stay in the hotel now? 100 percent immune with vaccination? No.”

Beasley took aim at the Players Association for inaccurately representing the voice of the players. 

“The players association is a joke. Call it something different. It’s not for the players. Everyone gives me the 98 percent of people who are vaccinated don’t get covid again. The odds of me getting in the NFL and playing for 10 years are lower than that and I’m here.”

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Several players have expressed hesitation in getting vaccinated including Bills quarterback Josh Allen who said back in April that he was still “debating” on getting it or not.

“I think everybody should have that choice to do it or not to do it,” he said. “You get in this tricky situation now where if you do mandate that that’s kind of going against what our constitution says and the freedom to kind of express yourself one way or the other. I think we’re in a time where that’s getting a lot harder to do. Everybody should have that choice.”

Beasley said in his statement Friday that many players share the same belief but “aren’t in the right place in their careers to be so outspoken.”

“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 …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.”

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