'Cue the outrage': Brutal fan backlash over divisive virus action

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
A Buffalo Bills fan holds up a sign in a near empty stadium during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Buffalo Bills have enforced the strictest conditions for fans after announcing a 'No Vaccine=no entry" for the stadium ahead of the 2021 season. (Getty Images)

Fans in the US have been hit with an unprecedented call as the NFL has taken the strongest stand to encourage vaccinations as the nationwide rollout continues.

Buffalo Bills fans can rejoice after the franchise announced full crowds would return for the 2021 season in a huge move for the code.

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But the franchise isn't taking the Covid-19 pandemic lightly.

Bills fans will have to prove they have been vaccinated to attend the game.

Fans will be required to show their New York Excelsior's Pass, a vaccine passport system on an app, to gain entry to the 71,000 seated stadium.

The unprecedented move in the US, which could become a norm throughout the world to get full stadiums back for sport, was met with both praise and anger.

Many Bills fans were ecstatic they could return to watch their team with 71,000 other fans and getting the vaccine was accepted.

Other fans became infuriated they would have to make the decision and thought it was unfair considering no other state had enforced the rule.

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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz made the announcement during a press conference and said he believed the Bills were on board with the message.

Poloncarz revealed his plans for fan attendance on a slide at the press conference.

One of the bullet points read, "No vaccine = No entry."

The NFL's strong vaccine stance

Ahead of the 2021 season, the NFL took the strongest stance of an American pro sports league to date.

In a blunt message to the public, the NFL put out a clear mandate from the league office that if top tier personnel want to maintain close contact with players, they will need a vaccination.

The message once again prompted outrage, while the NFL was praised for being proactive when it came to the vaccine. 

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The moves from the Bills come as Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen said he was still "debating" whether he would get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Speaking on '10 questions with Kyle Brandt' podcast, Allen said he was still unsure and was following guidelines in the meantime.

“I’m still debating that,” Allen said about whether he would get the vaccine.

“I’m a big statistics and logical guy. So, if statistics show it’s the right thing for me to do, I’d do it.

"Again I’d lean the other way too if that’s what it said. I haven’t been paying attention to it as much as maybe I should have. I’ve just been doing my thing and masking up when I’m going out and just staying close and hanging around family.”

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