Kirk Cousins clarifies controversial COVID-19 comments from July

Kirk Cousins clarifies controversial COVID-19 comments from July
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Kirk Cousins created a stir in July, though he and no one else knew it at the time.

The Vikings quarterback taped a podcast with Kyle Brandt, and Cousins’ comments about the COVID-19 pandemic came out this week.

Cousins intimated on the podcast that he was not worried about COVID-19 — contracting the virus or dying from the virus — and made clear he’s not a fan of masks. Cousins did add that he wears a mask to be “respectful to other people.”

He clarified Wednesday during a video conference with the team’s beat reporters.

“Admittedly I probably wasn’t as clear as I would have liked to have been,” Cousins said in his opening statement. “But what I wanted to say then, and what I would echo again now, is that while the virus does not give me a great amount of personal fear, there’s still great reason for me to engage in wearing a mask and social distancing and washing my hands as frequently as I can and following protocols that have been set in place. Obviously, to be respectful and considerate of other people, which is very important, but then also to be available for all 16 games this fall because as the protocol is set up if a player were to test positive they would be potentially out of the game or games. There’s plenty of reasons to wear a mask, social distance and be very vigilant to help stop the spread of the virus. That was the heart behind what I was trying to say in July. Admittedly, I didn’t say it as clear as I would have liked to. So I want to share that same message again, and hopefully articulate it a little bit better. That has always been heart and is again now.”

Asked specifically about his feelings on masks, Cousins said, “I was addressing my own personal perspective. Everybody’s different, and that’s what I was trying to say. You know there are many risk factors and other factors that would affect one’s approach. I have family friends who take a very different approach because of risk factors. Obviously, everybody’s in a different place.

“We don’t want anybody to get the virus so we can have the best team possible on Sundays.”

One of his most controversial statements in the podcast was, “Even if I die, I die.” Cousins said Wednesday he meant that he leans on his faith, putting his life in God’s hands.

“I have peace,” Cousins said. “I don’t believe that I control the outcome of my life. There’s many things out of my control. But obviously, my faith is at the foundation of my life. I trust the Lord to handle things. If something happens, I trust him to have a plan and purpose and to use even a pain, a setback, adversity, to use that to help grow me and teach me more about him.”

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