Media Melts Down When NFL Star Doesn't Play Along with COVID Narrative


Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is being savaged by sports reporters after he offered his honest opinion about wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During a recent appearance on the podcast “10 Questions With Kyle Brandt,” the former Michigan State Spartan was asked what he thought about wearing masks.

Cousins was asked: “On that spectrum, if one is a person who says, ‘Masks are stupid, you’re all a bunch of lemmings,’ and 10 is, ‘I’m not leaving my master bathroom for 10 years,’ where do you land?”

The NFL star, who is also a devout Christian, responded honestly.

“I’m not going to call anybody stupid for the trouble it could get me in, but I’m about a 0.000001,” Cousins said on the podcast episode, which was released Wednesday.

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Cousins added: “I want to respect what other people’s concerns are, but for me personally, if you’re just talking, ‘No one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you could get it?’ I would say I’m going to go about my daily life.

“If I get it, I’m going to ride it out. I’m going to let nature do its course. Survival of the fittest kind of an approach and just say if it knocks me out, it knocks me out. I’m going to be OK. Even if I die — if I die, I die. I kind of have peace about that,” he said.

“That’s really where I fall on it, so my opinion on wearing a mask is really about being respectful to other people. It really has nothing to do with my own personal thoughts,” he concluded.

The response seemed simple enough; Kirk Cousins wears a mask as a courtesy to others, although he doesn’t personally believe it’ll do him a whole lot of good.

There’s no controversy in that, right?


Cousins has become public enemy number one to some sports reporters, and his life and career are now on trial online.

USA Today football reporter Doug Farrar penned an article headlined, “Kirk Cousins’ ridiculous take on COVID is why we can’t have nice things.”

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Farrar wrote that Cousins is among those pro athletes who “have an interesting tendency to believe in their own invincibility,” adding that the Vikings quarterback “has some really unfortunate opinions about the coronavirus.”

The USA Today reporter further lamented that he can’t force other people to think like he does, and even suggested that Cousins is a man who lacks “empathy.”

In its own takedown of Cousins, the sports blog SB Nation concluded: “Unfortunately, there are still too many people who think social distancing or wearing a mask is a great affront to their personal liberty.”

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“Cousins’ remarks are only going to embolden people who already don’t like wearing masks. Ultimately, Cousins is twisting himself into a knot to say that he personally doesn’t think wearing masks is worth it but he’ll do it keep other people comfortable,” writer Ricky O’Donnell added.

O’Donnell dug through the quarterback’s social media history to insult his cooking, and also concluded Cousins’ opinions are “dangerous” and “harmful to the public.”

Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur, meanwhile, unleashed on the 32-year-old too:

“Kirk Cousins is every idiot whose father couldn’t access emotions and who has therefore decided that toughness and blustery faux-bravery is the route, always, and has also missed the part about this being a *communicable* disease,” Arthur tweeted.

The quarterback’s mask comments went straight over the head of CBS Sports reporter Seth Davis:

Others used Cousins’ mask comments to attack his football skills:

Of course the quarterback also had his defenders, who pointed out the buried lede — which is that the Vikings slinger still wears a mask because he takes other people’s concerns into account:

The establishment sports media as a whole missed out on a potentially great PSA opportunity here.

“NFL QB wears a mask for others, even though he doesn’t want to” would have been a great headline for the story, assuming mainstream outlets were interested in anything other than tearing someone down.

Cousins, who is the second-most-accurate quarterback in NFL history behind only Drew Brees, seemingly broke the cardinal rule for public figures amid the dual pandemics of the coronavirus and groupthink.

He thought for himself, and dared to share those dissenting thoughts with the public.

And for that, he was canceled.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.