Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins surprised the team earlier this month when he made a massive donation to the team's social justice committee.
According to the Star Tribune, Cousins made a $500,000 donation on behalf of the Julie and Kirk Cousins foundation during a committee meeting on Oct. 5.
“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 works on issues such as criminal justice reform, education and voter registration. The Wilf family makes an annual $500,000 contribution to the committee, whose work gained attention after the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
In the wake of Floyd's death, the Wilf family donated $5 million to the committee while Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks pushed toward a league-wide initiative toward social justice and reform.
But it was Cousins' donation that surprised many including defensive coordinator Andre Patterson.
"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."
Mike Zimmer and several teammates have commented on Cousins' maturity as a leader this season and his ability to connect with teammates. With a donation that will be used at the committee's discretion to Minneapolis-St. Paul organizations whose missions are consistent with its focus areas, it's another way that Cousins has shown his leadership.
“I’ve observed and just been really impressed,” Cousins said of the committee. “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.”