Rodgers denies lying over vax status, slams 'woke mob'

·3-min read
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers denied lying about his vaccination status on Friday following criticism in the wake of his Covid-19 test (AFP/Christian Petersen)

Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers denied lying about his vaccination status on Friday, portraying himself as the victim of a "woke mob" and "cancel culture" following criticism in the wake of his positive Covid-19 test.

Rodgers, whose case is the subject of an NFL investigation, tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week and will this weekend's marquee match-up against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 37-year-old quarterback has been widely criticized after telling reporters in August he had been "immunized" in response to a question about his vaccination status, leaving the impression he had been vaccinated.

In an appearance on Sirius XM's The Pat McAfee Show on Friday, Rodgers hit back at his critics, insisting he had told the truth.

"I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now, so before the final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I'd like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself right now," Rodgers told the show.

"First of all, I didn't lie in the initial press conference. During that time it was a very, you know, witch-hunt going on across the league where everybody in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and who wasn't.

"At the time my plan was to say that I have been immunized. It wasn't some sort of ruse, or lie -- it was the truth."

Rodgers said had he been pressed further on the subject, he would have explained that he had sought an "alternative treatment" to the widely available vaccines that have been distributed to Americans.

- 'Not a flat-earther' -

"I'm not some sort of anti-vaxx flat-earther. I'm a critical thinker. I beat to the march of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and being able to make choices for your body," Rodgers said.

"Not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something."

Rodgers said he could not take either the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 mRNA vaccines as they contained an ingredient he is allergic to.

He said he had considered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but opted against it after hearing of "multiple people" complaining of "adverse events."

Distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was temporarily halted in April following reports of six cases involving a rare form of blood clot, but was later cleared for use again after a safety review.

Rodgers said instead he had opted for an an unidentified "long-term protocol" designed to secure immunisation.

"I looked and talked to medical professionals and found there was an immunization protocol that I could go to to protect myself and my teammates, and it was a long-term protocol that involved multiple months," he said.

"I'm very proud of the research that went into this."

Rodgers said he had informed the NFL of his decision to seek alternative treatment but nevertheless sought to be categorized as a vaccinated player. That request was rejected by the league.

Rodgers described the NFL's protocols for unvaccinated players as being "draconian measures that were not based on science" designed to make "the league look better to the rest of the world."

The NFL has not issued a vaccine mandate for players this season, instead putting in place restrictions for players who choose not to get vaccinated.

Vaccinated players who test positive for Covid-19 can return to duty after two negative tests 24 hours apart, while unvaccinated players have to isolate for 10 days before they can return.


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