Journalistic Malpractice, Sports Edition

Kirk Cousins is the quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. An “out” Christian, he has sometimes been targeted by liberal sportswriters. Several weeks ago, he gave an interview on a podcast that apparently was released today. The interview gave rise to a story in City Pages, a weekly tabloid-style rag that doesn’t pretend to do actual journalism. City Pages tweeted:

Jim Souhan is a left-wing sportswriter for the Star Tribune. Like many sportswriters, his columns suggest that he wishes he were a news columnist so that he could give free rein to his liberal biases. Apparently relying on nothing but the City Pages tweet, he piled on Cousins:

Former Vikings linebacker and current broadcaster Ben Leber pointed out that Cousins didn’t say the quote that was attributed to him by City Pages:

This individual posted the actual transcript of Cousins’ comments:

It would be hard to be more reasonable that that, on the bizarre issue of wearing face masks in a pro football huddle. And City Pages has now corrected its careless headline:

Correction: A previous version of this blog post used the headline “Kirk Cousins says COVID-19 masks are stupid: ‘If I die, I die,'” yet Cousins only suggested as much with his numerical answer. City Pages regrets the error.

But the insanity of today’s political environment has fully penetrated the world of sports. Which means that Cousins and the Vikings had to call a hasty press conference so reporters could grill the quarterback on his opinions on face masks:

Cousins did an excellent job of answering the reporters’ questions, but this teapot tempest is today’s reminder–one among many, unfortunately–that we live in a world gone mad.