On Wednesday, news broke that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had not only tested positive for Covid-19 but he had actually never been vaccinated in the first place. This was at odds with his curiously worded initial statement in August, in which he said he’d been “immunized.”
Due to NFL protocols, Rodgers would have to miss this weekend’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs and would also have to quarantine for 10 days, meaning that he won’t be able to rejoin the team before next Saturday.
Reports emerged on Thursday that Rodgers was “furious” about the news getting out that he was unvaccinated, even though it would have been evident from the protocols anyway. On Friday, he made his first public appearance since the news dropped, appearing in the friendly confines of The Pat McAfee Show to share his side of the story.
His side of the story was, basically, the textbook anti-vaxxer playbook. Rodgers discussed the “research” he had done, how he was following the advice of Joe Rogan over the scientists who created the vaccines, how unvaccinated people were being “shamed,” and how the “woke mob” and “cancel culture” were coming for him.
Aaron Rodgers has mentioned the following in ONE interview:
– woke mob
– witch hunt
– cancel culture
– I’m not an anti-vaxx flat earther
– did my own research
– good friend Joe Rogan
– sterility and fertility
– If the vaccine is so great why are people still getting COVID?
— Scott Grodsky (@ScottGrodsky) November 5, 2021
It was a stunning interview, which was more like a diatribe as host Pat McAfee essentially just let Rodgers speak. And to say that NFL media and fans on social media had opinions would be the understatement of the century.
Main takeaway: Aaron Rodgers is an anti-vaxxer, playing the victim over his own selfish acts, and he’s listening to crackpots like Joe Rogan.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) November 5, 2021
It's amazing that a pro athlete, whose entire livelihood (which in Aaron Rodgers' case is tens of millions of $) is dependent on his health, would reject universal medical advice and trust a quack podcast host over his team doctors (and every other doctor.)
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 5, 2021
Every Aaron Rodgers sentence needs to be fact checked about three times
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) November 5, 2021
Aaron Rodgers just quoted MLK out of context. This man studied the anti-vaxxer playbook heavy.
— Brandon Pope TV (@BpopeTV) November 5, 2021
Aaron Rodgers: "The great MLK said, 'You have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense.'"
It's despicable that he would invoke Martin Luther King to justify his anti-vaccine stance.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) November 5, 2021
This Aaron Rodgers interview is proof of the Mark Twain quote:
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) November 5, 2021
Aaron Rodgers is flat-out lying.
1.If he had an allergy to the vaccine the NFL would have granted his request for a medical exemption.
2.Experts say there is no "mechanism" to connect vaccines to fertility issues. It's a myth.
It is anti-vaxxer BS. https://t.co/rBnJLWl2Cd
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) November 5, 2021
However big this story was before, Rodgers just sent it into the stratosphere. Not to mention he’s essentially made himself a champion of the anti-vax crowd, as much as he claims he’s not anti-vax. This one is going to get a bit wild, especially as more people in the NFL are asked about it and Rodgers eventually returns to the team. That won’t happen until the end of next week so expect plenty more reactions ahead.