Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins made a large gesture last week, reportedly donating $500,000 to the team’s social justice committee.
“For me, or really for my wife and I, and our family foundation, it was really a no brainer,” Cousins told reporters on Wednesday. “We’ve observed the work that our social justice group here with the Vikings and our locker room has done, really, since before I got here. It’s just been very impressive the way players have led and there’s been players very involved.”
The committee was formed in 2018 and involves players and coaches working on issues such as criminal justice reform, education and voter registration. The committee is headed by Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, Ameer Abdullah and defensive coordinator Andre Patterson among others.
Last year, the Wilf family donated $5 million toward the committee’s efforts along with an annual $500,000 contribution. But it was Cousins’ gesture that surprised its leaders on Wednesday.
“It touched my heart,” Patterson said. “Very, very grateful for him to do that. It’s something that he did not have to do. It’s tremendous that he’s showing that kind of support to our group and helping our group go out and help more people. So I’m very prideful for him, and happy he did that.”
The committee’s work gained attention last year following the murder of George Floyd. In the wake of the murder, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr criticized the NFL’s methods for caddressing important racially based topics and sparked a league-wide initiative.
“If anyone has suggestions on how to support the city, we’d love to hear them,” Kendricks wrote in a string of tweets at the team. “Our team doesn’t just want to donate — we want to work with local organizations and get out there to facilitate change.”
“I’ve observed and just been really impressed,” Cousins said. “We wanted to get involved in the community, and we thought it’s a no-brainer to just go through right where I go to work every day, the people we know and it just made a lot of sense.”