Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made his first public comments Friday since testing positive for COVID-19, addressing why he told the news media in August that he was “immunized” and why he is not vaccinated.
Rodgers will not play in Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs and won’t be allowed at the team facility for the next 10 days, according to NFL protocols.
He addressed the controversy and backlash for 45 minutes on the “Pat McAfee Show,” offering a strong rebuke of the process and referencing several debunked talking points circulating among people opposed to the vaccine.
“I am somebody who’s a critical thinker,” he said. “I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body.”
However, Rodgers said he is not a so-called “anti-vaxxer.”
“I am not a COVID-denier or any (expletive) like that,” Rodgers said. “I just wanted to make the best choice for my body.”
Rodgers said he has been tested daily per NFL protocol and said he was “in the cross hairs of the woke mob right now.”
“So, before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I’d like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies out there. I tested for COVID over 300 times before testing for possible positive and I probably got it from a vaccinated player,” Rodgers said.
He hasn’t provided details on which infected player he believes he was exposed to or any details of where or when he could have been exposed.
The three-time MVP claimed he did extensive research on the vaccines, but said he was allergic to something in both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. He sought alternative treatment when he said the two vaccines available weren’t right for him.
“For me it involved a lot of studying in the offseason,” Rodgers said. “I put a lot of time and energy into researching and met with a lot of different people in the medical field to get the most information about the vaccines before making a decision.”
Rodgers also said he consulted with his friend Joe Rogan and mentioned ivermectin, a medicine that is generally used to treat threadworms, roundworms and other parasites. That medicine is not approved for use in battling COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration.
“The specific protocol, I am going to keep between me and my doctors,” he said.
Rodgers appealed to the NFL on his unnamed alternative treatment, which was rejected, and says that the Packers, his teammates and the NFL knew of his status when he was questioned by the media in August.
“I have followed every single protocol to a T, except that one that makes absolutely no sense to me,” Rodgers said, referencing that unvaccinated players must be six feet apart and wearing a mask when speaking to the media.
He then went on to mention civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., saying, “The great MLK said, ‘You have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense.’”
Rodgers said he was excited for his backup Jordan Love to play against the Chiefs and has talked to him concerning Sunday’s game.
“I feel really good and if this was the flu, I would be playing on Sunday. I hope we can take a step back with the lying and the witch hunt,” he said.
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