Media Bashes Unvaccinated Kirk Cousins; Cheers Unvaccinated Lamar Jackson

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The sports media crucified Vikings QB Kirk Cousins for much of the week because Cousins has refused the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, the same press welcomed Ravens QB Lamar Jackson back to practice Saturday with applause after testing positive for COVID a second time. Like Cousins, Jackson has refused the vaccine.

“Why did Kirk Cousins, who didn’t even test positive, get destroyed for multiple days over COVID and Lamar Jackson gets essentially ignored?” Clay Travis asked on Twitter.

The answer: because Kirk Cousins is white and Lamar Jackson is black. 

The media’s logic is simple. If ESPN, the New York Times, or USA Today criticize Jackson’s personal decision to avoid the vaccine, the outlets risk someone claiming they are trying to dictate a black man’s health decisions. Just the thought of that response quashes the idea of publicly questioning Jackson’s decision.

By contrast, bashing a white man — whether he’s an athlete, politician, or actor — comes with virtually no downside. Media outlets know that Cousins, because of his skin and gender, is an easy target. It’s a two-for-one. Twitter users will retweet headlines that demand vaccine mandates and share stories that focus negatively on a white QB. Honestly, crushing Cousins is good for Twitter business right now. 

Far-left social media guys Mike Florio, Rex Chapman, and the person behind Resist Programming have even targeted Cousins’ father, a pastor in Orlando.

“There’s a very good chance that [Kirk’s] refusal to get vaccinated flows from his father’s attitude toward the pandemic,” Florio wrote. Last year, Don Cousins dared to question lockdowns by reopening his church and not requiring masks. As a result, Don Cousins is now a topic on PFT and Twitter.

The sports media’s coverage of unvaccinated athletes stems from the news media’s selective reporting on vaccine hesitancy. Because most sportswriters are not smart enough to have their own opinion on a serious topic, they simply follow the news media’s lead.

Race and politics drive CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS’s coverage of vaccine hesitancy in America. Therefore, race and politics now dictate how ESPN, Bleacher Report, and the others cover the topic.

Two primary groups have not obeyed demands to get vaccinated: black Americans and staunch conservatives. Both groups share the same concern: they don’t trust the government. Yet only the latter are blamed for, what President Joe Biden and the media call, the “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated.”

At the start of July, the vaccination rate for black people in the U.S. was 15 percent lower than for white people. A subsequent chart found that black people “make up 12 percent of the U.S. population but only account for 9 percent of people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.”

Viewers of CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS are stunned. Since they first heard of the Delta variant, they’ve been told that Trump voters, and only Trump voters, are the reason for this latest COVID wave.  

The news media will not report vaccine hesitancy among African Americans for the same reason that the sports media won’t cover Jackson’s refusal to get the vaccine. The most you’ll get is a headline that says white people are not doing enough to help ease black Americans’ concerns over the vaccine—anything else, and the media risks one of the usual suspects labeling them racist.

“Don’t blame African Americans for fearing the COVID-19 vaccine. Blame America,” the Chicago Tribune requests.

When critics call media members liars, they are often not referring to the fabrication of stories, which does happen, but instead their selective storylines and spin jobs. On the topic of unvaccinated Americans — the lead story at most outlets — writers, hosts, and reporters tell only half the story.

“The reason Southern states have low vaccination percentages is because they have many Trump voters, who tend to be white, and also many Biden voters, who tend to be black,” Clay Travis adds in his Twitter thread. “The percentage of black Biden voters who are unvacced is the highest in the country. Yet the media ignores it.”

High-level media executives deem fact-based statistics on vaccine hesitancy among African Americans too risky to report. Therefore, their minions re-cite soundbites that blame Tucker Carlson for some Americans not getting vaccinated.

Here is the subheading of the Chicago Sun Timescolumn, “Imagine a crazy world in which people are utterly stupid about vaccines and their own health”:

“They listen to the likes of Tucker Carlson. They believe there is a higher power looking out for them, like Donald Trump. It is the stuff of science fiction. It is mystifying.”

That entire story blames white conservatives for the deaths of unvaccinated Americans.

The media, both in sports and news, also don’t care who dies of COVID. If they did, they’d mention and warn that two groups have serious hesitations. Instead, the media has weaponized COVID as a political tool, a way to take down enemies.

In sum, it’s no wonder the sports media has focused so much on Kirk Cousins’ decision to remain unvaccinated and so little on Lamar Jackson’s hesitancy. 

While many Americans don’t trust the media, major institutions still do. Already this week, Holland Hospital in western Michigan ended its relationship with Kirk Cousins over his stance on COVID-19 vaccines. Unfortunately, Holland Hospital won’t be the last partner to sever ties with the hometown hero. Lamar Jackson, meanwhile, has no such worries.

Here is Clay Travis’ entire Twitter thread on the media’s coverage of Kirk Cousins and Lamar Jackson:


Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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  1. I’m am engineer and a successful professional – I think we can take “dumb” out of my equation. I never watch Tucker Carlson; hell I don’t even have Fox News. I’m not so much scared of the vaccine as I see it as completely unnecessary. Why should I – or anyone – jab themselves with a poison to prevent a flu bug with a 99.9% survival rate? And the survival rate is even higher with the so-called variants, which always occur with flu bugs and which are always less lethal than the original?

    This continues to look like one giant psy-op,and the pressure on those who resist will continue (unless they are black – for now). I hope Kirk Cousins stays strong and embraces his role as a resister.

    • Same boat. I occasionally watch a clip from Tucker but am really no fan of Fox News at all as I consider them part of the msm problem just as much as the left wing outlets. Fact is, like you said, 99.9% survival rate and that could probably be extrapolated further out to 99.9995 if the numbers were more honest(counting someone who had cancer dying of Covid as an example of that). If you want to get the jab, fine, but I’m not changing how I live my life nor am I getting a completely unnecessary shot just to make others “feel safe”.

  2. 1). There is nothing wrong with Tucker Carlson

    2). The same government regime —> CDC, that insist we need the jab is the same one that said the B.urnL.ootM.urder riots were acceptable because RaCiSm iS a pUbLiC hEaLtH crisis

    No Thanks

    • Agree, some on Fox are assholes (Cavuto, Chris Wallace) but Tucker is real good. He calls out the woke jerkoffs in the media and Washington all the time and he’s smart. His investigative staff does a really good job.

  3. “”Quite simply, because Kirk Cousins is white and Lamar Jackson is black. Thus, the media treats the two unvaccinated QBs differently.””

    AWM Alert AWM Alert

    White Male victim card in a MERITOCRACY is NOT A GOOD LOOK. You lames are amazing

  4. Race and politics drive CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS’s coverage of vaccine hesitancy in America. Therefore, race and politics now dictate how ESPN, Bleacher Report, and the others cover the topic.

    Yeah because that would never be the motivation of OUTKICK which become the GAB, Parlor and favorite website of Jarrod Samuel Taylor / American Renaissance? JUST STOP…

    You guys must be so proud. ?

  5. This whole scenario with Cousins reminds me of a very important concept reasonable people should practice in today’s world. If you find yourself aligned with a general mainstream media perspective on any topic, it should be an immediate indication that you have a serious error somewhere in your reasoning.

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