Social media can be a weird and fascinating space. On one hand, our giant world is all connected. Information can be shared, tips given and community created remotely for individuals who are thousands of miles away. Then on the other hand, social media has a tendency to swirl out of control.
The other day, one such scenario popped up as Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins held a responsibly socially distanced ZOOM press conference with media members and one particular quote threw the Twittersphere into a tizzy.
Asked what he thought of the potential of playing football in stadiums without fans, Kirk responded saying, "Honestly, we practice every day in an empty grass area and pump in fake crowd noise for away games. But more often than not, you're used to it. OTA practices don't have a lot of pomp and circumstance to them. So honestly, to go out and just play the game would kind of be refreshing, a breath of fresh air, to just let us know that we don't have to have all the smoke and the fire. We can just play football. So as long as we're playing the game, I won't have a lot of complaints, and hopefully if it's still not returned to normal, we can find a way to make it work."
Twitter responded accordingly blowing the quarterback up for his "ridiculous" comment. The anger from fans across the league surrounded the energy that fans can bring to a game and ultimately landed on the idea that it's those fans that pay the players' salaries and he should care more about them.
Interested in righting the record a little bit, Kirk called in to his favorite morning show The Power Trip on KFAN and explained a little further what he meant.
"My point was that I love the game of football, any chance to play the game...I would obviously prefer to have fans in the stands and that electricity, especially with Vikings fans who are some of the best fans in the world...I would never want anyone who pays hard earned money to watch us play to think that the players are not appreciative of that...so much of what we do is because of what our fans bring to the table."
Like the rest of the country, Kirk and his family are sheltering-in-place with his family in Orlando, Florida looking for creative ways to keep his arm fresh and begin the early preparations for an NFL season that we are all assuming will begin on time.