Aaron Rodgers fined after admitting he ‘misled people’ about his vaccination status
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted Tuesday that his statement about being “immunized” when he hadn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 was misleading.
Aaron Rodgers admitted Tuesday that he had “misled people about my status” when he told reporters he was “immunized” before the start of the NFL season.
The Green Bay quarterback has not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and last week tested positive for the coronavirus. He missed the Packers’ game Sunday — a 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs — and hopes to be cleared Saturday to play against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Rodgers appeared on the “Pat McAffee Show” on Friday and said his initial statement about being immunized “wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie, it was the truth.” He went on to say he would have clarified his remark had any reporter thought to ask a follow-up question.
He walked back those statements when he returned to McAffee’s show for his weekly appearance.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is unvaccinated and unable to play Sunday because he is in the NFL’s COVID protocol, explains his situation.
“I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading,” he said. “And to anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.”
He was even more straightforward later in the interview. “I misled people about my status,” Rodgers said.
Later Tuesday, the NFL fined the Packers $300,000 and issued $14,650 fines to Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard for violations of league and players’ union protocols. ESPN first reported the fines.
During the interview last week, Rodgers said he’s allergic to an ingredient in two of the vaccines and instead went with what he described as “a long-term protocol that involved multiple months” to serve as his immunization.
Rodgers said Tuesday that he stood by many of his comments from the earlier interview, during which he attempted to justify his refusal to follow all of the NFL’s protocols for unvaccinated players, spoke of using the anti-parasitic ivermectin and other controversial methods to combat COVID, and invoked the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in discussing his own situation.
Not very effectively, though. Cherry-picking quotes didn’t help him defend his COVID deception.
“I’m an athlete, I’m not an activist. So I’m going to get back to doing what I do best and that’s playing ball,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “I shared my opinion. It wasn’t one that was come to frivolously. It involved a lot of study and what I felt was in my best interest for my body. But further comments I’m going to keep between myself and my doctors, and I don’t have any further comments about any of those things after this interview.”
He did laugh at McAffee’s mention of “Dr. Joe Rogan,” a reference to the popular podcast host (who is not a doctor) whom Rodgers said Friday he asked for medical advice. Rogan contracted COVID-19 in September and has spoken publicly about using ivermectin as part of his treatment during recovery.
“I have a lot of admiration for Joe,” Rodgers said. “I definitely talked with about a dozen friends of mine who dealt with COVID, and they all were very helpful in different ways, Joe being one of them.”
Joe Rogan has said a lot of things about COVID-19. People listen, journalists write.
Rodgers said he has been spending his time in isolation reflecting, meditating, reading, watching football — and doing his best to insulate himself from the criticism he has been receiving.
“There’s going to be people that don’t like you, that hate you for things you said and might not even understand what you said or know what you said, might just [be] a headline,” Rodgers said. “And that’s fine. I believe that people are entitled to their opinion, even if it’s an opinion that’s unfavorable to me. But I’m going to continue to try and be the best version of me moving forward.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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