Matt Leinart 'can't wait to move out of' L.A. because of COVID-19 regulations

J. Brady McCollough
Matt Leinart attends the grand opening of KAOS Dayclub & Nightclub at Palms Casino Resort on April 5, 2019, in Las Vegas.
Matt Leinart, shown at a Vegas nightclub opening in 2019, had this to say to critics of his tweet decrying virus restrictions: "Lefties." (Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images for Palms Casino Resort)

Matt Leinart’s 67,000 Twitter followers know that the former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner has not been shy about inserting himself into America’s coronavirus culture war.

But in recent days, as the country faces a potentially devastating third wave of the pandemic with the holiday season fast approaching, Leinart appeared to reach a breaking point over COVID-19 regulations meant to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Sunday night, Los Angeles County issued a new rule, taking effect at 10 p.m. Wednesday, that restricts restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars to takeout and delivery only for the first time since May.

“LA just closed all dining INDOOR/OUTDOOR for 3 weeks? Can’t wait to move out of this awful place. Ridiculous,” Leinart tweeted.

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

As hundreds of replies covering the political spectrum piled up — with some encouraging him to go ahead and leave L.A. — Leinart expressed surprise that he had riled up so many people.

“Lefties,” the Fox college football studio analyst tweeted, before adding, “I wear a mask. 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!"

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.”

By the end of Sunday night, Leinart’s Wikipedia page had been updated to reflect his tweets, stating that he had plans to move from L.A. due to the COVID-19 regulations.

At some point, he deleted the original tweet that created the firestorm.

Monday morning, he logged into his account with renewed perspective, tweeting, “Happy Monday everyone. Let’s have a great week and be positive. Goes for all of us!”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.