Why Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Needs to Stop Talking About COVID-19
When Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 midway through the season, it was ultimately revealed that he had misrepresented his vaccination status to the media in training camp and thus misrepresented it to the public.
Rodgers has become known for speaking his mind, and, at the time, he had plenty of opinions regarding the coronavirus, vaccinations, and the NFL’s stance on everything. He did even go on a bit of an unhinged rant of sorts.
At the same time, he also eventually made it clear that he didn’t want to get political, and it sounded like he just wanted to stick to football moving forward.
For some reason, though, he just won’t stop ranting about the coronavirus.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went on another COVID-19 rant
For someone who said they wanted to remain apolitical, Rodgers sure had no problem giving another monologue about his thoughts on the coronavirus and vaccines.
Speaking again on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers went into the fact that he still believes the NFL has it wrong in regards to how the league treats vaccinated players versus unvaccinated players.
“Vaccinated people are testing positive, and non-vaccinated people are testing positive too,” Rodgers said, according to Sports Illustrated. “I don’t understand why there is still this two-class system.
“[It] doesn’t make sense to me because we’re still punishing non-vaxxed people when a majority of the teams are vaccinated. Ones that are 100% vaccinated are still having major cases, and it’s across all sports too.”
Rogers also doubled down on defending the homeopathic treatment he received and even went as far as to say that NFL teams are recommending some of those treatments to their players but doing so behind the scenes.
“I do know behind the scenes, this is 100 percent true, there are many teams who are using or recommending a lot of the same treatments that I got for their players,” Rodgers said via the New York Post. “There are treatments being talked about behind closed doors, but publicly, I don’t understand why we can’t talk about treatments.”
Rodgers says he’s not worried about people ‘ripping him’
Rodgers is a multi-millionaire not just because of football but from all of the ad endorsements that he’s accumulated over the years. He’s dated celebrities; he has a famous fiance, a million-dollar home in Malibu, and he’s one of the most famous people in the country, if not the world.
On paper, he has no reason to care about what anybody thinks. He has said in the past that he doesn’t really read the headlines, good or bad, but McAfee did actually seem to strike a chord with him by bringing up criticism on Twitter.
“Well most of these people have absolutely no following, and they come after me and they have zero retweets or likes,” Rodgers said, almost defensively. “They have less than double-digit likes and retweets so it does zero for me to interact with these people.
The thing is, McAfee had asked Rodgers his thoughts on verified Twitter users criticizing him. These are people with followings and with influence, not some random eggs.
Rodgers acted like he doesn’t care, but does this really seem like something that somebody who doesn’t care would say?
Even McAfee picked up on that, and he essentially lets Rodgers say whatever he wants without providing much in the way of pushback in these interviews.
“You’re in the pettiness of Twitter. I like it,” McAfee joked.
On the one hand, Rodgers says he doesn’t care about what other people think and doesn’t read his own press clippings. On the other, he’s clearly thought about the people who have called him out online, and he’s using what he considers a lack of clout as a reason to disregard their opinions.
Again, for somebody who didn’t want to take sides, Rodgers had no problem basically calling all people who disagree with him losers. For someone who supposedly doesn’t care about online clout, he sure seems to have a pretty good idea of when “cancel culture” or “the woke mob” is coming after him.
Why Rodgers need to drop this topic
Rodgers has said that he’s just giving his opinions, but he’s clearly dug into one side of the vaccination debate, and he doesn’t seem all that uncomfortable being a face of that movement.
To be fair to him, he has been consistent in his talking points, so he does at least seem to believe what he’s saying. He also claims to have talked to doctors of all types, and he claims to have done a ton of research on the matter.
“I’m not some uneducated person that’s throwing stuff out there. You wanna rip on me because I took horse dewormer and whatever else you want to talk about — that’s fine. But I also got better in 48 hours and I had symptoms,” he ranted.
Frankly, Rodgers sounds like someone who can’t take the heat but doesn’t want to leave the kitchen. He was the one who said he didn’t want to get political, and he was the one who appeared ready to refocus on football.
“I’m an athlete, I’m not an activist,” he said in November, according to SI.
It was Rodgers who said he didn’t want to become the poster boy for one movement or the other, but just listen to him when he’s on a roll with McAfee. He’s a hop, skip, and a jump away from talking about how historic the crowd sizes are at Lambeau Field or asking for proof of Mike Zimmer’s birth certificate.
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that McAfee has been goading him into these rants, but Rodgers has been taking the bait every single time.
Rodgers doesn’t need to stick to sports. That’s a stupid argument anyhow. After all, if you had a doctor friend, would you tell them to stick to being a doctor if they had thoughts on your favorite team’s backup left tackle? People are allowed to have their opinions. That’s one of the beautiful things about living in a society that allows free speech.
However, the problem is that in a global public health crisis, opinions from athletes, politicians, entertainers, and your uncle on Facebook should take a back seat to doctors and scientists. You know, people who have actually studied these things their whole lives.
Rodgers wouldn’t ask Joe Rogan to dial-up a play in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, but he’s comfortable taking his advice in a global pandemic?
Rodgers is a great quarterback, and he’ll go down as one of the best of all time. Maybe it’s time he lays off the coronavirus topic for a while, though.
Stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference.