For NFL players, a high degree of transparency has traditionally applied to health issues that affect a player’s availability. As for COVID, which directly affects their availability, unvaccinated players systematically choose for little or no transparency.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins demonstrated that mindset on Thursday, speaking about all he will do to avoid infection while also refusing to explain his reasons for not getting the shot, calling the personal and private matter.
But, really, what is personal and private about things that could have a direct impact on a multi-million dollar player’s ability to play football? These are fair questions, especially when the anti-vaccine stance taken by the player so strongly goes against the clear preferences of the league and the team Cousins plays for.
Chances are, the quarterback’s refusal to get the shot stems from his father’s attitude toward the pandemic. Don Cousins, a pastor from Orlando, had strong beliefs about the virus last year. Check out this thread, published in September 2020 by Resist Programming. Don Cousins reopened his church during the pandemic. He didn’t need masks.
Kirk himself made it clear last year that he did not believe in masks, and he uttered the phrase “If I die, I die” regarding the possibility of catching the disease.
Although the thread predates the issue of vaccines, the anti-vaccine attitude matches everything Kirk and Don Cousins said last year. If you just (and inexplicably) don’t take the virus seriously, why get vaccinated against it?
Cousins is in the small minority of unvaccinated NFL players. However, he is the Vikings’ starting quarterback, apparently a team manager. When the team leader shrugs at the preferences of team leadership, it’s no surprise that so many other team members have followed suit.
The Vikings have little choice but to face it. Cousins is due to pay $ 21 million fully secured in 2021 and $ 35 million fully secured in 2022. The Vikings could cut him off and receive credit for whatever he earns elsewhere, but that would be an extreme and irrational reaction to the situation.
Here again, Cousins takes an extreme and irrational position. Maybe the Vikings should fight fire with fire and move on from a guy who clearly has no future in Minnesota beyond his contract expiration in two seasons, if he does it that long.