Aaron Rodgers changed the perception many people had of him in 2021 when he mischaracterized his COVID-19 vaccination status and went on to make stunningly inaccurate statements about vaccines, medicine, society, and other fields after he “did his own research.” When he didn’t get the response he was perhaps expecting, it seemed to start him down a path of becoming a rather smug commentator on the way of the world who runs in circles with anti-vaxxers and other “alternative” crowds.
Once considered one of the most likable and interesting characters in the NFL, plenty of people are openly rooting against the Green Bay Packers quarterback and celebrating when his team loses.
Rodgers seems to be aware of the shift in the narrative around him. During his appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, the quarterback acknowledged that a lot of the coverage he receives these days paint him as the “villain.”
Everybody in sports media has you being traded.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 24, 2023
“There’s heroes and villains in sports and entertainment. I think because of my stance on COVID and maybe other things, I’ve been cast as the villain, especially the last few years. So that is the way a lot of the things I have said are often interpreted. I’m not upset about that. I don’t feel like the victim in any way. I don’t have that mentality. That’s fine. I actually embrace that role a little bit if that’s how you want to cast me.”
Rodgers has indeed been “interpreted” in that way by a lot of people in recent years, though most of the comments he’s made require little interpretation.