Aaron Rodgers Lashes Out About N.F.L.’s Vaccine Requirements

In an interview given by the quarterback as he was isolated because of a positive coronavirus test, he said that he was a victim of a “woke mob” and that he had unsuccessfully petitioned the N.F.L. to accept his alternative to being vaccinated.


Credit…Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Aaron Rodgers on Friday spoke publicly for the first time since news broke that he was not vaccinated against the coronavirus and had tested positive, lashing out at the news media and saying he was a victim of a “woke mob” and “cancel culture.”

Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback and the N.F.L.’s reigning Most Valuable Player, confirmed news that rocketed around the sports world on Wednesday: that he had tested positive for the virus. He will miss Green Bay’s game on Sunday against Kansas City and, like all unvaccinated players in the league who test positive, must isolate for 10 days and test negative in order to return. Vaccinated players can return within 24 hours after they test negative twice, according to protocols jointly agreed upon by the N.F.L. and the N.F.L. Players’ Association.

Rodgers’s comments came on The Pat McAfee Show, a program he visits weekly. During the lengthy interview, Rodgers criticized vaccine mandates and said that personal choice should determine what happens to an individual’s body.

“I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther,” Rodgers said. “I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some sort of woke culture or crazed individuals who say you have to do something.”

Rodgers in August told reporters during training camp that he had been “immunized” against the virus, a term that the journalists did not ask him to define further.

On Friday, Rodgers said he did not want to take the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines because he had an allergy to an ingredient in them. He was also hesitant about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, he said, because the Food and Drug Administration recommended a temporary pause in administering the company’s shot in the spring because of rare instances of blood clots. Rodgers also said he was wary of the vaccines’ potential effects on fertility, a theory that most medical experts have said is unfounded.

In consultation with the programme host Joe Rogan, Rodgers aforementioned he began associate immunisation method that the league failed to embrace in its vaccination choices. The quarterback petitioned the N.F.L. to approve his arrange — that he aforementioned he had gathered over five hundred pages of analysis — however it absolutely was denied.

Besides the 3 vaccines, no different federally approved immunisation methodology exists.

Rodgers aforesaid he had followed most of the protocols for susceptible players, apart from sporting a mask throughout his weekly news conferences. He conjointly attended a day party maskless with others, another violation of the protocols.

Unvaccinated N.F.L. players square measure subject to additional tight needs, within and out of doors team facilities. they’re not alleged to leave hotels once on the road for games; they have to compute one by one within the weight space, and that they cannot use the steam room or eat with teammates. Richard Rodgers aforesaid he was conjointly forced to wear a yellow wristband to spot his standing.

“Some of the foundations don’t seem to be based mostly in science in the least,” Rodgers aforementioned. “They’re based mostly strictly in attempting to out and shame individuals.”

“The nice M.L.K. said, ‘You have an ethical obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that build no sense,’” he added , paraphrasing the civil rights leader theologian King son.

Davante Adams, the Packers’ leading receiver, and defensive arranger Joe Barry tested positive for the virus and lost last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. The earliest Rodgers might doubtless be accessible once more is inexperienced Bay’s Week ten game against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 14. Jordan Love, the team’s first-round draft decide in 2020, can begin in Rodgers’s place Sunday.

The league aforementioned during a statement Wed that it’d review the Packers’ handling of protocols. “The primary responsibility for social control of the Covid protocols at intervals club facilities rests with every club,” Brian McCarthy, an N.F.L. spokesman, said. “Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual clubs within the past.”

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