Buffalo Players Offer to Buy Away Tix for Unvaxxed Fans
Hours after Buffalo Bills and Sabres ownership announced that all fans attending games at Highmark Stadium and KeyBank Center, home of the NHL franchise, a few of the Bills players sympathized with unvaccinated distraught Bills fans and offered to "buy" them tickets to away contests for the team at stadiums without such restrictions. It brings up an interesting question for the organization. They are mandating their fans to be vaccinated but they are not mandating their players. Or are they?
According to a story by WGRZ in Buffalo, "Cole Beasley and Reid Ferguson both responded to fans on Twitter who said they can't go to the games now because they're unvaccinated, and they offered to get them tickets to an away game."
WGRZ noted that "Beasley was among Bills players who were are a part of a five-day re-entry process to team facilities in late August because of close contact with a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. Beasley has publicly stated his refusal to take the vaccine and has been outspoken about the NFL's rules for unvaccinated players."
Now, you can think whatever you want about this situation but NFL teams are facing huge losses if there is a COVID outbreak amongst unvaccinated players. According to reports by the NFL Network, "if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week schedule due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and be credited with a loss, per sources informed of the situation." An NFL forfeit would cost a team tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue. A automatic loss could be the difference of making or missing the playoffs, another 7 figure loss.
WGRZ talked to Beasley, "I'm not anti or pro-vaccine, I'm pro-choice," Beasley said in late July. Some people may think that I'm being selfish and making this a 'me' thing, but it is all about the young players who don't have a voice and are reaching out to me every day because they're told if they don't get vaxxed, they'll be cut." That is probably true. Teams can ill afford to have marginal players with potential availability and loss costs attached to them. It will be interesting to see if the Bills find Cole Beasley too costly to keep around.