Super Bowl champ turned cop says NFL's 'political stances,' COVID policies drove him to retire​: 'The Lord showed me the door'

A former NFL player and Super Bowl champion said recently that the NFL's growing support for progressive politics played a major part in his decision to retire and begin a new chapter of life.

Just over two years ago, former Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony "Sausage" Sherman was celebrating with his teammates after winning the Super Bowl. Now, he is using his skills to fight crime and rescue sex-trafficking victims as a part-time sheriff's deputy in Bourbon County, Kansas, and a task force officer with the Department of Homeland Security's investigations unit.

When Sgt. Sean "Sticks" Larkin, host of the Law & Crime network’s "Coptales and Cocktails" podcast, asked if he missed playing in the league, Sherman replied, "I don’t."

"My goal was 10 [years]. I got 10 — and the Lord showed me the door with all of the political stances the NFL was making, the COVID policies, all of this nonsense. He was like, 'Hey, I’m going to make it easy for you. I gave you 10 and then head on down the road.' Then he opened up another door with all this law enforcement stuff and it’s been a good transition so far," Sherman explained.

Through its "Inspire Change" social justice program, the NFL has in recent years been funneling massive amounts of money to organizations that explicitly call for the defunding of police departments across the country.

Super Bowl Champ Anthony "Sausage" Sherman | Coptales & Cocktails Podcast

But the retired athlete was careful to note that his outspoken support for law enforcement didn't cause any problems in the locker room.

"I kind of had one of those, like, ‘this is who Sherman was, this who Sherman is, like, leave him alone,'" he said. "He’s going to have his opinion, and he’s not going to change his mind about it — any aspect of that. I kind of demanded — not demanded, but had a respect in the locker room, that it wasn’t, 'Oh, geez, here comes Sherman,' whatever. It was kind of one of those things where it was, I am who I am, and if you don’t like it, then we don’t have to talk. I’ve got my friends. I don’t need many more."

Sherman added that politics didn't get in the way of his team's ultimate goal, adding that as a whole they were unified and focused on achieving success on the field.

"The locker room was great," Sherman said. "Everyone loves each other regardless of where you grew up, how you grew up, where you went to school, whatever it is. It was, we have one goal and it’s to win the Super Bowl, and I don’t care what has to happen, but we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna accomplish it together."

He said the coaches and management created a culture of "you do your own thing outside the building, but when we're in the building, this is what our goal is and we're going to go get it."

Elsewhere in the podcast, Sherman shared how a sex-trafficking presentation during his NFL career inspired him to get involved in law enforcement, specifically to help victims.

"I want to be able to help the people that can't help themselves," Sherman said.

The athlete wore a tactical vest and introduced his line of work in his retirement announcement video last April.

Welcome to the law enforcement community and we look forward to working with you to #endhumantrafficking @shermanator_42.\u00a0\u2026
— HSI Kansas City (@HSI Kansas City) 1619638982

NFL suddenly halts daily COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated players

The NFL will stop daily testing of all players — vaccinated or unvaccinated — for the remaining playoff teams.

According to the Associated Press, a memo was sent to all 32 NFL franchises on Friday that said medical experts from the NFL and the players’ union decided to halt daily testing of the remaining postseason teams for COVID-19.

"Following consultation with our jointly retained infectious disease experts, the NFL and NFL Players Association have updated the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols to eliminate the distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated players to determine testing cadence," the memo stated. "Effective immediately, all players and tiered staff will be subject to strategic and targeted testing."

All players and tiered staff are now subject to enhanced symptom screening, symptom-based testing, and targeted surveillance testing, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero.

"Of all the unvaccinated players still on playoff teams, only about a dozen haven’t had COVID already, per source," Pelissero wrote on Twitter.

According to the league's latest data that goes through Jan. 8, nearly 95% of NFL players are vaccinated against COVID-19, and nearly 100% of NFL personnel are vaccinated.

"Individuals on a 90-day test 'holiday' after having COVID are still subject to testing if they have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status," Pelissero added. "So while positive tests are near-zero right now, it’s still possible any player could miss a playoff game, if they’re sick." reported, "The NFLPA-approved change has been made based on info gathered over the past month on the Omicron variant. NFL and NFLPA medical experts saw a decrease in positive cases during that span, an encouraging sign for the league as a whole following decisions to implement targeted testing and revise the window for players to return from COVID protocol late last year."

The NFL regular season ended on Jan. 9, which sent home 20 of the league's 32 teams. There were eight teams in action for this weekend's divisional-round playoff games.

According to Worldometer data, the 7-day moving average of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. had a pandemic high of 895,925 on Jan. 7, but there were still 800,700 new COVID-19 cases recorded on Jan. 21.

Last month, the NFL instituted new COVID-19 testing protocols after the league's chief medical officer revealed that asymptomatic players were not transmitting coronavirus. Dr. Allen Sills — the NFL's chief medical officer — stated that the league had not seen any verifiable asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 this season.

The change in health protocols in December eliminated weekly testing for vaccinated players, but still required daily testing for unvaccinated players.

Despite at least 94% of players vaccinated, the NBA, NFL, and NHL forced to cancel games, change COVID-19 protocols, and welcome unvaccinated players during latest spike of cases

The major professional sports leagues in the U.S. are being forced to cancel a slew of games, alter COVID-19 protocols, and allow a once-shunned vaccinated superstar to return to action because of a rash of COVID-19 cases amongst the players, despite being nearly 100% vaccinated against coronavirus.

The NFL changes COVID-19 protocols

Despite 94.6% of NFL players being fully vaccinated, there were 58 players who tested positive for COVID-19 between Nov. 28 and Dec. 11. NFL personnel are 100% vaccinated, but there were 50 cases in the same time period.

Cases have surged even higher this week, forcing the NFL to postpone three games in Week 15.

"The NFL hit a single-day high of 36 positive tests among players Monday," The Hill reported. "By Wednesday, the COVID-19 list grew to at least 90 players."

The Los Angeles Rams currently have 29 players who either tested positive for COVID-19 this week or were still on the reserve/COVID-19 list from last week, according to ESPN. The Cleveland Browns have 24 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Washington Football Team have 23 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and backup Kyle Allen.

The National Football League will attempt to tackle the flood of COVID-19 cases by ending the mandate for weekly COVID-19 tests for asymptomatic vaccinated players. However, the NFL will penalize unvaccinated players – who will continue to have to test daily.

NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero wrote, "The revised NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols will end regular weekly testing of asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals."

Pelissero noted that "over 150 (mostly asymptomatic) players" tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

The revised NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols will end regular weekly testing of asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals. A major shift amidst the emergence of the Omicron variant and over 150 (mostly asymptomatic) players testing positive this past week.\n\nFrom today\u2019s
— Tom Pelissero (@Tom Pelissero) 1639856091

NHL cancels games for an entire week for 3 teams

The National Hockey League is postponing all games for a week for three franchises because of rising COVID-19 cases. The Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, and Florida Panthers have had their games postponed through Dec. 26, according to the Sporting News. The Flames have 18 players and coaches out of action because of COVID-19 protocols, the Panthers have seven, and the Avalanche have five players.

The NHL made the decision "due to concern with the number of positive cases within the last two days as well as concern for continued COVID spread in the coming days," the league said in a statement.

Additionally, the next two games for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks are also canceled after nine players tested positive for COVID-19.

NHL players are nearly 100% vaccinated. There are 32 NHL teams with a maximum of 23 players for a potential of 736 players in the league. There is only one unvaccinated NHL player in the entire league – Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings.

NBA team does a 180 to welcome unvaccinated star back

The Brooklyn Nets welcomed 7-time All-Star Kyrie Irving back to the team on Friday, despite him being unvaccinated. Irving was booted from the team in the preseason for not being vaccinated and has yet to play in any regular-season NBA games.

New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate would prohibit Irving from playing in Nets' home games at the Barclays Center, but he could still participate in most road games.

However, the Nets have been obliterated by a swarm of COVID-19 cases this week. The Nets only had eight active players – the minimum number of players for a game to be played – when Brooklyn hosted the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. The team has a total of 10 players on the sidelines because of positive COVID-19 tests, including stars Kevin Durant, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Irving.

The Chicago Bulls also had 10 players test positive for COVID-19, which caused them to postpone two games this week. Even Bulls broadcasters Stacey King and Bill Wennington were forced into isolation due to the NBA's COVID-19 protocols, which states that players and personnel must quarantine for 10 days or until they return two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour window.

The widespread outbreak of COVID-19 comes at a time when 97% of the league's players are fully vaccinated.

Cole Beasley helps unvaccinated NFL fan skirt Bills' COVID rule by giving him free tickets to a road game

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."

Buffalo Bills player Cole Beasley reacts to COVID vaccine backlash, says he's prepared to quit football: 'My values are more important to me than a dollar'

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley railed against the NFL's new and very rigid COVID-19 protocols for training camp and the preseason. Beasley proclaimed that he is prepared to walk away from the NFL, "My values are more important to me than a dollar."

The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed upon new COVID-19 protocols, which are far more critical of unvaccinated players than those who are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated players will face daily COVID-19 tests, must wear a mask in the team facility and during travel, and are barred from leaving the hotel to eat at a restaurant. First violations of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols can result in a $50,000 fine.

Some NFL players voiced their displeasure with the new restrictions as well as the NFLPA. One of the more outspoken players against the strict rules is Beasley, who on Thursday called the restrictions "crazy" and said the NFLPA is a "joke."

There was swift backlash to Beasley's opinions on the NFL's COVID-19 rules, to which he responded to his critics with an even more powerful stance against the new restrictions.

Beasley began his response captioned by declaring, "Hi, I'm Cole Beasley, and I'm not vaccinated!"

"I will be outside doing what I do. I'll be out in the public. If (you're) scared of me, then steer clear, or get vaccinated. Point. Blank. Period," he tweeted on Friday. "I may die of COVID, but I'd rather die actually living."

"I have family members whose days are numbered," Beasley said in response to the NFL's rules that prohibit players from having more than 15 people at their home," Beasley added. "If they want to come and see me and stay at my house then they are coming regardless of protocol."

Beasley, who has two years and roughly $11.9 million remaining on his contract with the Bills, seemed to hint that he is willing to quit or be fired from the NFL over his COVID-19 vaccine stance.

"I don't play for the money anymore. Fine me if you want," Beasley stated. "My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar."

"I'll play for free this year to live life the way I've lived it from Day 1," Beasley said. "If I'm forced into retirement, so be it. I've enjoyed the times I've had ... So either way, it's a win-win."

"I'm not going to take meds for a leg that isn't broken," he wrote on Twitter. "I'd rather take my chances with COVID and build up my immunity that way ... That is my choice based on my experiences and what I think is best."

"I love my teammates and enjoy playing ball because all the outside BS goes out the window in these moments," Beasley continued. "I just want to win the Super Bowl and enjoy these relationships that will be created along the way."

"Thank you for everyone who has been supportive throughout this process," the wideout said.

Beasley said, "a lot of other NFL players" agree with his position on coronavirus vaccinations, but "aren't in the right place in their careers to be so outspoken."

"I'm hoping I'm doing my part to represent you guys well," the second-team All-Pro wide receiver concluded.

Public Service Announcement

— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) 1624044800.0

Fellow Bills receiver Isaiah McKenzie reacted to Beasley's impassioned message, "I see you out there fighting brotha love it."

A @Bease11 I see you out there fighting brotha love it 😄✊🏽

— Isaiah McKenzie (@_IsaiahMcKenzie) 1624040307.0

In May, Beasley emphasized, "I don't have a problem with anybody getting the vaccine. That is your choice. My problem is everyone is ridiculing and bullying people ... into getting one or thinking the same way about it. It's becoming that way with any issue. This is not OK."

Last month, In May, Bills general manager Brandon Beane answered a hypothetical question about unvaccinated players, which he revealed that he would be inclined to cut an unvaccinated player if it helped the franchise reach an NFL threshold to relax COVID-19 restrictions. However, the NFL reportedly informed Beane that the team could not release a player solely due to his vaccination status.

In 2020, Beasley caught 82 receptions for 967 yards, both career highs.

Players blast NFL's strict new COVID-19 vaccine protocols, call players association 'a joke'

The NFL unveiled its new COVID-19 protocols for training camp and the preseason this week, which puts heavy restrictions on what unvaccinated football players are allowed to do. The strict coronavirus restrictions were agreed to by the NFL Players Association, which frustrated several professional football players.

The NFL released its COVID-19 protocols Wednesday, which dictates that coaches and staff must be vaccinated, but players have the option. However, unvaccinated NFL players are severely restricted, while vaccinated players have far more freedoms and return to near pre-pandemic rules.

  • Unvaccinated players will need to be tested for COVID-19 every single day, while those who are vaccinated will not.
  • Unvaccinated players will need to wear face masks at the facility and during travel, while vaccinated individuals will not.
  • Unvaccinated players will have travel restrictions, while vaccinated people will not.
  • Unvaccinated players are not permitted to leave their hotel rooms to get food from a restaurant and are not allowed to interact with anyone outside of the team, while there are no restrictions on vaccinated players.
  • Unvaccinated players must practice social distancing when eating, while those vaccinated are not required to do so.
  • Unvaccinated players are barred from the sauna and steam room, while vaccinated players are permitted to use these facilities.
  • Unvaccinated players have weight room capacity limits, while vaccinated individuals do not.
  • Unvaccinated players will lose out on extra income since they will be banned from social/media/marketing/sponsorship activities, while vaccinated players are permitted to do so.

"Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, including players, will be prohibited from gathering outside club facilities or team travel. NFL players who are not fully vaccinated will be barred from going to nightclubs, bars, house parties, concerts, etc," the league stated.

Players are prohibited from house gatherings of more than 15 people unless all participants are wearing PPE.

Failure to follow the new rules could result in fines of $50,000 for a first offense.

The NFL has made it clear that unvaccinated players will have a much tougher time in the preseason than those who have received the coronavirus vaccine.

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to updated COVID-19 protocols for 2021 training camp and preseason, per source. How…

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) 1623866986.0

Some players have already voiced their displeasure at the constraining new rules set by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley called the new regulations "crazy," and blasted the NFLPA.

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

"So what are we really talking about? I understand completely why the NFL is doing this," he tweeted. "It gives them back the freedom to make the most money as possible again if everyone is vaccinated. But will anyone fight for the players or nah?"

"The players association is a joke. Call it something different. It's not for the players," Beasley continued. "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."

Beasley was asked why he didn't want to get vaccinated, to which he responded, "Why does it matter what my reasons are? It's a personal choice. That means I don't have to explain to anyone why I do what I do. Just like everything else in my life."

This is crazy. Did we vote on this? I stay in the hotel. We still have meetings. We will all be together. Vaccinate…

— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) 1623957620.0

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon also slammed the NFL Players Association for heavily restricting players who didn't want to get vaccinated.

"The @NFLPA is not for the players they act like they represent us and they clearly show us different time & time again," Mixon tweeted.

"I thought Football was a team sport and it's clearly being individualized by beliefs," he added.

Mixon clarified that he is not against vaccines or anyone who wants to get vaccinated, "I love everybody and I show love to everyone vaccinated or not. I RESPECT EVERYBODY who decides to get the vaccine or not. I'M NOT AGAINST EITHER! I WILL FIGHT & DIE FOR A RESPECTED DECISION."

The @NFLPA is not for the players they act like they represent us and they clearly show us different time & time ag…

— ⚡️Primetime!!!⚡️ (@Joe_MainMixon) 1623876062.0

An NFL agent told ESPN that 60% of his clients are fully vaccinated.

Of the NFL's 32 franchises, 16 teams have 51 or more players who are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera estimated 50% of his players have gotten the coronavirus vaccine, and noted that a few more plan to get vaccinated after the team brought in an infectious disease professor from Harvard to talk to players about the COVID-19 vaccine.

One Washington Football Team player who was not persuaded to get the vaccine was defensive end Montez Sweat.

"I'm not a fan of it," Sweat said of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday. "I probably won't get vaccinated until I get more facts and that stuff. I'm not a fan of it at all. I haven't caught COVID yet so I don't see me treating COVID until I actually get COVID."

Unvaccinated fans are allowed to attend training camps, but must practice social distancing and remain more than 20 feet from players and team staff.