MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has temporarily lost a sponsorship with a hospital in Michigan, as a result of what the hospital calls his stance on COVID-19 vaccines.
Holland Hospital has discontinued its partnership with Cousins as their spokesperson for now, after a dramatic week for Cousins regarding his vaccination status as the virus’s Delta variant continues to grow more prominent throughout the country.
“As the trusted health care leader along the lakeshore, we are committed to providing accurate, timely health information and guidance based on guidance from the CDC and medical experts,” said the hospital in a statement. “While we acknowledge that each person is entitled to their own viewpoints, those who speak on our behalf must support messages that align with the hospital’s position on matters of vital importance to individual and community health.”
Cousins says his recent stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list — which forced him to miss a string of practices — was prompted by the small size of the team’s quarterback meeting room. The Vikings activated quarterback Cousins on Thursday, removing him from the COVID-19 list.
“Had we met in a larger room, I would not have missed practice,” Cousins said.
He said the team has since found a new, larger room in which to hold those meetings.
“I’ve had six negative tests since I was last with Kellen,” Cousins said. “Don’t have any symptoms, so I don’t have COVID.”
Cousins refused to disclose his vaccination status when asked Thursday, instead stressing multiple times that he’s following “protocols.” In addition to specifically mentioning wearing masks and social distancing, Cousins said he’s “even thought about, should I just set up literally Plexiglas around where I sit?”
When Cousins was asked in June about his vaccine status, the quarterback said he chooses “to keep my medical history private…I think people just need to make their own decision and make the one that’s best for them and their families.”
According to a Washington Post report, the Vikings have the lowest vaccination rate of any NFL team, with only about 65% of players fully vaccinated. Recently, Zimmer and team management have urged players to get vaccinated, especially as the highly-contagious Delta variant spreads in Minnesota and across the country.
This is a developing story. Stay with WCCO.com for more details.