Kirk Cousins being unvaccinated could affect his 'ability to lead,' says longtime NFL quarterback

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins would rather surround himself in a plexiglass box than receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Former longtime NFL quarterback Josh McCown believes that is Cousins' right, but that the decision could cost Cousins in the locker room.

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McCown, who is currently the wide receivers coach at Rusk High School, said Cousins' unwillingness to get vaccinated could affect his status in the locker room, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“Obviously, we have a personal choice, and that’s a freedom that he has,’’ McCown said in a phone interview about Cousins not being vaccinated. “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.’’’

McCown should be considered knowledgeable in this area. He spent 17 seasons in the NFL, playing for nine different teams. McCown spent the majority of his career as a backup, but remained in the NFL into his 40s due to his personality and leadership. 

Kirk Cousins with the Vikings.
Kirk Cousins does not want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kirk Cousins could lose 'ability to lead' over vaccine stance

Cousins hasn't spoken in-depth regarding his decision to not get vaccinated. The decision has already cost him outside the NFL. Cousins' hometown hospital cut ties with him due to his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine.

McCown — who is vaccinated — sees a situation where that stance could also affect Cousins' "ability to lead" his teammates.

“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 said. “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 has stated he will follow the league's COVID-19 protocols during the 2021 NFL season. He's already missed time in camp due to being a high-risk close contact with a player who tested positive for COVID-19.

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