Kirk Cousins is the NFL’s most vocal vaccine-hesitant quarterback and it appears he is going to stick to his guns and not get the jab as the season grows near. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has repeatedly expressed frustration with his team’s relatively low vaccination rate, even bringing in a prominent infectious disease expert to address the team, but Cousins remains unmoved.
Former quarterback Josh McCown thinks he is sending the entirely wrong message to all of the players in the locker room.
McCown told the Pioneer Press that because Cousins isn’t vaccinated against the coronavirus it will take away some of his ability to be a leader in the locker room.
“Obviously, we have a personal choice, and that’s a freedom that he has,” the retired NFL quarterback said. “But I think in the realm of a team and understanding everything we do about the science and the safety of it, I would just say it would be hard week in and week out for a quarterback to say, ‘Hey, I’m all for my team, but I’m not going to do this except for this.'”
Last month, Cousins said he would not get vaccinated for personal reasons and offered to put plexiglass between him and his teammates to prevent him from potentially infecting anyone or possibly getting infected himself.
“Obviously, he has a firm belief in his systems of beliefs that are leading him to say, ‘I don’t want to vaccinate,’ and that’s his business,” McCown told the paper. “But given the effect and the impact that it can have on a team, we don’t share the same beliefs on that aspect. And I just think you want to lead the way and do everything that allows you to be effective for your team, and so if you don’t (get vaccinated), I guess you have to throw the mask on and be vigilant about that. But even then I think that takes away from some of your ability to lead.”
Cousins told reporters the meeting with Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist from the University of Minnesota, went well.
“It went well,” he said, via the Star Tribune. “He’s one of the top specialists in the world, and I thought he was very good with his points, answered a lot of questions. Whether or not that changes anything, I don’t know. We were very thankful he was able to come over here and talk to the team in person.”