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Kirk Cousins’ leadership questioned over refusal to get COVID vaccine

The leadership of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins came into question Tuesday.

Josh 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.

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“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.'”

Cousins said last month he wouldn’t 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.

It wasn’t cutting it for McCown, who is vaccinated. But he did express respect for Cousins and said the veteran quarterback has the right to make the personal decision.

VIKINGS MEET WITH DISEASE EXPERT AMID LOW VACCINATION RATES, KIRK COUSINS REACTS

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins looks up at the big-screen display during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

“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.”

The Vikings have had a hard time keeping up with coronavirus vaccination rates.

Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist from the University of Minnesota, spoke to the players last week at the team’s training facility in an attempt to address misinformation about the vaccine and the risks associated with getting it. Cousins told reporters the meeting went well.

Coach Mike Zimmer has expressed his frustrations in the past and told reporters he was happy that Osterholm came and spoke to the team.

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“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.”

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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