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Kirk Cousins clarifies his ‘If I die, I die’ comment regarding the coronavirus

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins stands on the sideline
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins stands on the sideline during a game against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 11.
(Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

Kirk Cousins plans on wearing a face mask.

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback fully intends to follow all of the NFL’s safety protocols.

He definitely does not want anyone else to get sick because of him.

Nonetheless, the guy who brought us “You like that?!” years ago now likely will be associated with another catchphrase, which he said in regard to the coronavirus.

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“If I die, I die.”

Cousins made the comment on an episode of the “10 Questions With Kyle Brandt” podcast that was recorded in July but went live Wednesday morning. Hours later, Cousins clarified the comment to reporters.

“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.”

On the podcast, Cousins was asked by Brandt, “If 1 is the person who says, ‘Masks are stupid, you’re all a bunch of lemmings’ and 10 is, ‘I’m not leaving my master bathroom for the next 10 years,’ where do you land?”

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In the fourth episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” players on the Chargers and Rams express their emotions and frustrations about the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Cousins answered: “I’m not going to call anybody stupid, for the trouble it could get me in, but I’m about a .000001.”

The one-time Pro Bowler went on to explain that if it were only his health at risk, he’d much rather go about his business and take his chances with a virus that has infected more than 25 million people and killed more than 850,000 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

“I want to respect what other people’s concerns are. But for me personally, if you’re just talking no one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you could get it, I would say I’m going to go about my daily life,” Cousins said. “If I get it, I’m going to ride it out. I’m going to let nature do its course. Survival-of-the-fittest kind of approach. And just say, if it knocks me out, it knocks me out. I’m going to be OK. Even if I die. If I die, I die. I kind of have peace about that. So that’s really where I fall on it. So my opinion about wearing a mask is really about being respectful to other people. It really has nothing to do with my own personal thoughts.”

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Folks on social media have their takes on Cousins’ comments, with several people invoking a famous quote by the fictional Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV.”

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“Admittedly I probably wasn’t as clear as I would have liked to have been,” Cousins said Wednesday. “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.”

Of course, Cousins is entitled to his opinion, especially if he’s taking every precaution for the benefit of those who might not be quite as cavalier about all of this.

But “if I die, I die,” might not be the soundbite the NFL wants from one of its starting quarterbacks eight days before starting the season amid a global pandemic.


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