Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins expressed that he has little fear of COVID-19, even if it kills him—sparking outrage from the media over his dismissal of the pandemic, ESPN reported.
Cousins, during a July interview on the "10 Questions with Kyle Brandt" podcast, said he follows the basic rules governing behavior in the era of COVID-19, but he isn't gripped with fear and anxiety over the virus.
Brandt asked Cousins to rate his COVID-19 anxiety from a scale of 1-10, with 1 meaning "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.'"
Cousins replied that he didn't want to call anyone stupid for fear of getting in trouble, but said he was a ".000001."
Here's what else Cousins had to say about his view of the coronavirus:
"I want to respect what other people's concerns are. For me personally, just talking no one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you could get it, I would say I'm gonna go about my daily life. If I get it, I'm gonna ride it out. I'm gonna 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. You know, 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 on wearing a mask is really about being respectful to other people. It really has nothing to do with my own personal thoughts."
During a news conference Wednesday, Cousins attempted to clarify his statement in response to the backlash.
"Admittedly, I did not use the best wording and certainly could've articulated it better," Cousins said. "But the heart behind it is no different than it is today. Admittedly, I probably wasn't as clear as I would've liked to have been. 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 set in place, obviously to be considerate and respectful of other people."