‘I’m An Athlete, I’m Not An Activist’: Aaron Rodgers Ready To Move On From COVID Vaccine Controversy

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Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been quarantining over the past week since testing positive for COVID-19. It also appears that he’s had some time to reflect. 

Last Friday, Rodgers went on “The Pat McAfee Show” and gave his side of the story as to why he remains unvaccinated, as well as addressing those who claim he lied when he told a reporter he was “immunized” when asked if he was vaccinated.  

“First of all, I didn’t lie in the initial press conference,” Rodgers said on Friday. “During that time, it was a witch hunt that was going on across the league where everybody in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and who wasn’t and what that meant … And at the time, my plan was to say that I had been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie. It was the truth.” 

In his weekly appearance with McAfee on Tuesday, Rodgers took responsibility for misleading people with his comments. 

“I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading,” Rodgers said. “To anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments. I’m excited about feeling better. I’m excited about moving forward and hopefully getting back with my team and getting back to doing what I do best, and that’s playing ball. It’s been tough being away from it. I’ve been obviously dealing with the COVID, and I feel like I’m on the other side of it, thankfully, and I’m thankful to still be able to have something to look forward to this weekend, hopefully.”

Rodgers missed the Packers game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, with backup quarterback Jordan Love getting his first NFL start in Green Bay’s 13-7 loss. And while Rodgers is looking forward to getting back on the football field, he refused to “gloss over” the past few days.

“I’m not going to gloss over the last few days,” Rodgers said. “People that know me, know this is true. I’m not spending time reading things that are out there. I know that there is a lot of stuff out there. I know there’s been a lot of comments said. I understand that this issue, in general, is very charging to a lot of people because we’re talking about public health and I totally respect that.” 

“I made a decision that was in the best interest based on consulting with my doctors and I understand not everybody is going to understand that necessarily but I respect everybody’s opinion,” he said. 

Rodgers also addressed his comments on receiving medical advice from podcast host Joe Rogan, which garnered scorn from the media. 

“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. But again, that’s the society we’re in. I have no judgment. Hate is not going to bring us out of this pandemic. It’s going to be connecting and love and I’m not gonna hate on anybody that’s said things about me. I believe everybody is entitled to their opinion. And I always will believe that. I think that it’s a time to move forward, for me, and talk about football.” 

Rodgers’ comments on the COVID vaccine put him squarely in the middle of the conversation surrounding the vaccines, one that has become increasingly politically charged. But Rodgers told McAfee he has no interest in being the “poster boy” for either side of the aisle, and just wants to get back to football. 

“I’m an athlete, I’m not an activist,” Rodgers said. “So I’m gonna get back to doing what I do best and that’s playing ball. I shared my opinion. It wasn’t one that was come to frivolously. It involved a lot of study and what I felt like was in my best interest for my body, but further comments I’m going to keep between myself and my doctors. I don’t have any further comments about any of those things after this interview.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

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