Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the media spotlight, and not for his performance on the field.
The sports star, who according to reports earlier this week tested positive for COVID, made headlines Thursday night and Friday for the comments he made during an August press conference about his vaccination status. At the time, he responded to a question about whether he was vaccinated by saying he was “immunized.” He also appeared to deliberately depict himself in contrast to people “who haven’t been vaccinated”
With this comment now driving headlines, it’s worth revisiting what Rodgers actually said in response to the reporter’s question
“Are you vaccinated and what’s your stance on vaccinations?” the reporter asked at the August press conference, video of which was shared by Twitter user Ari Meirov, aka @MySportsUpdate this week.
Rodgers said the following: “Yeah, I’m immunized. You know, there’s a lot of — a lot conversation around it, around the League, and a lot of guys who have made statements, and not made statements, owners who made statements. You know, there’s guys on the team who haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not gonna judge those guys.”
“There’s guys who’ve been vaccinated who’ve contracted COVID,” Rodgers continued, “so, it’s an interesting issue that I think we’re gonna see laid out the entire season. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with the testing schedule. I know they’re talking to JC — the PA talked about testing every single day for everybody. The League obviously, I think, shot that down or didn’t want to do that. I don’t know if that was financially incentivized or what not, but [it’ll] be interesting to see what happens if we can, you know, if the protocols change at some point. It’s obviously something that’s moving.”
Watch the clip here now:
Aaron Rodgers was asked in late August if he’s vaccinated and this was his answer: pic.twitter.com/jvNPzPJZMF
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 3, 2021
On Friday, the quarterback appeared on the “Pat McAfee Show” where he was given the floor following his vaccination status, and August’s press conference converging in headlines.
“I realize I’m in the cross hairs of the woke mob right now, so before my 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,” he began.
“First of all, I didn’t lie in the initial press conference. During that time it was a very, you know, witch hunt that was going on across the League where everyone in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and who wasn’t and what that meant, and who was being selfish, and who would talk about it, and what it would mean if they said it was a personal decision … and at the time, my plan was to say I have been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie. It was the truth.”
Of course, back in August he also said “there’s guys on the team who haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not gonna judge those guys.” Context does not suggest he was referring to himself as one of those “guys on the team.”
Rodgers said that if the reporter had put another question to him he would have explained what he meant by “immunized.”
“Had there been a follow up to my statement that I’d been immunized, I would have responded with this, I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not, you know, some sort of anti-vax flat-Earther, I’m somebody whose a critical thinker.’ You guys know me, I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture, or crazed, you know, group of individuals who say you have to do something. Health is not a one size fits all for everybody.”
He also told the show that when he said “immunized,” he was referring to as a “long-term immunization protocol,” but did not elaborate about what that entailed.
See more of Rodgers’ latest interview below:
"I'm not an anti-vaxx, flat-earther.. I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long term immunization protocol to protect myself & I'm very proud of the research that went into that" ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/FDMmI5rZmO
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021