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Hospital in Kirk Cousins' Hometown Cuts Ties With Vikings QB Over Vaccine Stance

Holland Hospital in Michigan has dropped Cousins as a spokesperson due to his comments about the COVID-19 vaccine.

A hospital in Kirk Cousins' hometown of Holland, Mich. has severed its relationship with the Vikings quarterback over his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine.

One day after Cousins essentially doubled down on his anti-vaccine position at a press conference, Holland Hospital decided to cut ties with him. The former Holland Christian High School and Michigan State star had a partnership with the hospital dating back to 2017, per local radio station WHTC 1450 AM.

There was no money exchanged as part of the sponsorship agreement, according to hospital officials.

Cousins was placed on the NFL's Reserve/COVID-19 list last Saturday after being deemed a high-risk close contact to a player who tested positive. Because he is unvaccinated, the league's protocols dictated that he had to isolate for five days, causing him to miss four practices.

Upon returning, he made it clear that his decision not to get vaccinated isn't going to change. Instead, he blamed the size of the Vikings' QB meeting room for his absence from practice and vowed to do whatever it takes to avoid being a close contact again in the future. Cousins acknowledged that the easiest way to stay on the field would be to get vaccinated — NFL protocols are far more lenient for vaccinated players — but called the vaccine a "very private health decision" and said he's at peace with where is in that regard.

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Holland Hospital released a statement through WHTC.

“As the trusted health care leader along the lakeshore, we are committed to providing accurate, timely health information and guidance based on guidelines from the CDC and medical experts. 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. For this reason, Holland Hospital will discontinue using Kirk Cousins as our spokesperson for now."

"We are proud of our association with Kirk. He embodies many values we respect and share as part of our work culture. However, we must be certain that our communications about COVID vaccination are consistent and unequivocal. The clear recommendation from the CDC and leading medical experts is that the COVID vaccine is safe, effective and the best defense against becoming infected with the virus. Evidence also indicates that vaccinated individuals may be less likely to carry and transmit the virus to others including children, family members and friends. For these reasons, Holland Hospital has and will continue to strongly recommend the COVID vaccine to those who are eligible to receive it. It is important that Holland Hospital maintain the trusted reputation we have earned for providing consistent, truthful information and evidence-based health care guidance."

Jennifer Schmitt, a spokesperson for the hospital, told the Star Tribune that their partnership with Cousins could resume in the future if he changes his stance on the vaccine.

Among the 32 NFL teams, the Vikings have the lowest percentage of players with at least one shot of the vaccine, per a report from the Washington Post earlier this week.

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