After a few long days of silence following his positive COVID-19 test, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is finally speaking out against the “woke mob” that has spent most of that time heavily criticizing his decisions.
Rodgers took the opportunity to defend himself and explain why he isn’t vaccinated during his guest appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday, November 5, speaking for more than 45 minutes about his personal concerns surrounding the NFL-approved COVID-19 vaccines while also calling out the media for its “witch hunt” to identify and “shame” players who are not vaccinated.
“I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now,” Rodgers prefaced during his conversation with McAfee on November 5. “So before my final nail gets put in my cancel-culture casket, I think I would like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself.”
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Rodgers Has Allergy to Some Approved Vaccines
According to Rodgers, he did extensive research on vaccines during the offseason and discovered he had an allergy to one of the ingredients in the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), which made the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the only option available to him based on the list of vaccines the league had approved for this year’s COVID-19 protocol. He added, however, that he became reluctant to pursue that option when the CDC issued a temporary pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April due to issues with blood clotting, leading him to seek out other treatment plans.
Rodgers then said he found an “immunization protocol” that he felt was the best way for him personally to protect himself and his teammates. While he didn’t provide many details in the interview about his treatment, he mentioned that he petitioned the NFL upon his return to the Packers in July to accept his immunization status and classify him as a vaccinated individual for the season. The petition was rejected along with his subsequent appeal, for which he said he gathered “over 500 pages of research” from his medical team on the efficacy of vaccines, immunization and mask-wearing.
“In that process, we had many conversations,” Rodgers said. “I enjoyed my conversations with the league, it was good sharing, but one, in particular, stood out when I knew I was not going to win this. I had a meeting and one of the main docs said, ‘It’s impossible for a vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID.’ And at that point, I knew I was definitely not going to win the appeal and it was very shortly thereafter that denied, which we know now that that information is totally false that was given to me.”
He later added: “My desire to immunize myself was what was best for my body, and that’s why this is so important to me. My medical team advised me that the danger of an adverse event was greater than the risk of getting COVID and recovering, so I made a decision that was in the best interest of my body. I’m not telling somebody to not get vaccinated or to get vaccinated. I think you should do what’s in the best interest of your body. If you’re scared of COVID or if you have comorbidities, then getting vaxxed is your best option, but if you have an immuno-compromised system or if you have previous conditions, then make the decision that is in your best interest. And that’s what I did, I made the decision that was in my best interest.”
Rodgers’ full interview on the Pat McAfee Show can be viewed here.
Rodgers Claps Back at NFL & Media Members
Per usual, Rodgers was articulate and thoughtful when giving answers on McAfee’s show; although, to be perfectly fair, McAfee mostly just gave him the floor to speak uninterrupted for the majority of the time with some follow-up questions asked after Rodgers laid out his health background and justifications for not getting vaccinated.
Rodgers did, however, repeatedly take his shots at the NFL and members of the media during his self-described diatribe. He accused the league’s general managers of colluding not to sign unvaccinated players and coercing bottom-roster players into getting vaccinated (or else run the risk of not getting signed by another team). He also said some of the mask mandates in their COVID-19 protocols “make no sense.”
Additionally, Rodgers criticized people such as ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith (not by name) and numerous others who had called him a “liar” or claimed he had misled them about his vaccination status when asked back in August. For what it is worth, Rodgers was asked whether he was vaccinated in August and responded, “Yeah, I am immunized.”
“It is what the media is trying to do,” Rodgers said. “They’re trying to shame and out and cancel all of us non-vaccinated people, call us selfish. That’s the propaganda line, too, now is you’re selfish for making a decision that is in the best interest of your body.”
Rodgers also issued a stern warning for the media to “quit lying” about him.
“For the media out there taking shots at me, you don’t know my story, now you do, so quit lying about me,” Rodgers said. “Personal health decisions, in my opinion, should be private and they shouldn’t have to be gone through the wringer and over-scrutinized by people who are just pushing their own propaganda onto people and ideals. You want to have a conversation about it, I’m more than willing to have a conversation about it, but bodily autonomy is a right, and the shaming and outing that people seem to get off on so much … everybody has their own story. Everybody has their own story and issues and reason for doing things, but this shaming, cancel society, that is wrong.”