Kirk Cousins and Lamar Jackson are two high-profile quarterbacks embroiled in a controversy over their refusal to get vaccinated, as has been recommended by most medical professionals and incentivized by the league.
Kirk Cousins, though, has been more widely criticized than Lamar Jackson. Many have found it hypocritical, but a closer look reveals why that has been the case.
Why Kirk Cousins has been lambasted more than Lamar Jackson despite a similar vaccine stance
#1 - Kirk Cousins has been more vocal in his opposition than Lamar Jackson
Both Kirk Cousins and Lamar Jackson are, as yet, unvaccinated. However, when asked about their stance, Kirk Cousins seems to have completely shut the door on ever getting vaccinated. Lamar Jackson, on the other hand, did not rule out the possibility that he may eventually get vaccinated after "talking to the doctors."
Kirk Cousins has also gone on long diatribes, saying he is vehemently against masks and that if he dies, then so be it. Such entrenched opposition has made him more of a target than Lamar Jackson.
#2 - Kirk Cousins is more at odds with his coach than Lamar Jackson
The coach and quarterback relationship is one of the most important in football. It often extends beyond play calling. They need to be on the same page to remain in complete harmony. Coach Mike Zimmer is an ardent advocate of vaccination and his position is the polar opposite of Kirk Cousins'.
The relationship between John Harbaugh and Lamar Jackson does not yet appear as strained because the head coach is yet to publicly comment on his outlook on vaccinations.
#3 - Kirk Cousins is a far higher earner than Lamar Jackson
Finally, one of the reasons Kirk Cousins has borne the brunt of criticism for his anti-vaccination stance is simply because he earns a lot more than Lamar Jackson despite being less of a draw, quarterback talent-wise.
Kirk Cousins holds the honor for the most guaranteed money in a contract in NFL history. He is set to earn $35 million in 2022, all of it guaranteed. Whether he deserves that amount, considering that he has never even been league MVP, is up for debate.
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Lamar Jackson became the 2019 league MVP as the unanimous choice. He is an elite quarterback who has made the All-Pro First Team. He is shortly expected to get a mammoth contract, and once he does, expect the spotlight to fall on him a lot more.