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Former Heisman Trophy Winner Rips Los Angeles County COVID-19 Order, Says He ‘Can’t Wait To Move Out Of This Awful Place’

Former Heisman Trophy Winner Rips Los Angeles County COVID-19 Order, Says He ‘Can’t Wait To Move Out Of This Awful Place’


A former Heisman Trophy winner who played quarterback at the University of Southern California has had enough of Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 restrictions, which he says will damage the economy and make more people unemployed.

After the public health department announced that a three-week ban on in-person dining at restaurants was necessary to help slow the spread of coronavirus infections, Matt Leinart took to Twitter to express his thoughts.

“LA just closed all dining INDOOR/OUTDOOR for 3 weeks? Can’t wait to move out of this awful place. Ridiculous,” Leinart wrote in a tweet posted on Sunday evening that has since been deleted.

“People going to lose their jobs again,” he later added. “Small business shutting down.”

Leinart expressed surprise that his comments had triggered so many people, according to the Los Angeles Times. The outlet reported “hundreds of replies covering the political spectrum piled up – with some encouraging him to go ahead and leave L.A.”

He appeared to dismiss most of the critical responses as coming from “Lefties,” noting that there is “so much hate on Twitter” and asking his naysayers to “please stop hiding behind the keyboard.”

“I wear a mask,” Leinart made clear in another post that followed. “I go to the grocery store. I cook my own food. I have a wife and kids. My dad is high risk and we are careful. You all are too much! Stop being bullies!”

More from the LA Times:

Leinart’s wife, actress Josie Loren, came to his aid, responding to a sarcastic reply asking Leinart how he was going to get food for three weeks by tweeting, “Actually if it wasn’t for @MattLeinartQB we’d never have a home-cooked-meal. He’s the house cook and cooks ALL the time so we don’t have to get our meals elsewhere. Just frustrated that our governor can eat indoors with a crowd of people but shuts down businesses that are already struggling.”

Last week, Leinart expressed pride in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department issuing a news release saying it would not automatically enforce Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest stay-at-home order, tweeting, “My hometown.”

The forthcoming ban that motivated Leinart’s contentious tweets on Sunday is scheduled to take effect on Wednesday at 10 p.m. local time. Public health officials say the goal is to reduce the possibility of coronavirus transmission in settings where people generally do not wear face coverings, including restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars.

L.A. is the most populous county in America, with more than 10 million residents. It recorded more than 6,100 positive COVID-19 cases on Monday, a single-day high since the pandemic began. Officials acknowledged that number is inflated because of a reporting backlog from the weekend. Still, the threat of an even more restrictive countywide stay-at-home order looms.

Leinart was the starting quarterback for the USC Trojans for three seasons. As a junior in 2004, he led the team to an undefeated record, won the Heisman Trophy, and ended the season with a BCS National Championship victory. The school was later stripped of the title, however, because of a scandal involving running back Reggie Bush. Leinart went on to be the 1st-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2006 and played six seasons in the NFL. He is currently a college football analyst with FOX Sports.

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