Aaron Rodgers: Sorry if you felt misled by me saying I was "immunized" despite being unvaccinated

I’m surprised by how ferocious the backlash has been to his deception, but I probably shouldn’t be. I don’t think it was the lie per se that made people mad, it was the tone he took about it in the interview he gave on Friday. Not getting vaxxed is one thing. Harrumphing about “woke mobs” and “cancel culture” when you’re called out on having lied about it is like waving a red cape in front of vaccine supporters, especially liberals and reporters who aren’t ideologically inclined to see woke mobs canceling people as a bad thing.


“I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now,” Rodgers said. “So, before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I would like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself. … I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and ability to make choices for your body: Not have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something. Health is not a one-size-fits-all for everybody.”

He added: “I consulted with a now good friend of mine Joe Rogan, after he got Covid and I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that he recommended.”

He went on to extol ivermectin, muse about the vaccines’ effect on fertility, doing his own research — a “greatest hits” album of anti-vaxxism in a single interview, if you will. (He’ll be a Republican senator from Wisconsin within a decade, I predict.) But it was the lie he told several months ago that landed him in the hottest water:

What he meant by “immunized,” apparently, was receiving homeopathic treatments from his doctor which the NFL refused to accept in lieu of vaccination. He also claimed on Friday that a league doctor told him “it’s impossible for a vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID” but no doctor has entertained that belief since late July, when the CDC’s Provincetown study and the reality of waning immunity made clear that breakthrough infections were quite possible and maybe not uncommon. “No doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants communicated with the player,” the NFL said in reply to Rodgers. “If they had, they certainly would have never said anything like that.”


So maybe he was misleading people about more than just his “immunization” status.

He took a notably different tone than he had on Friday in a follow-up interview today, although his apology was more of the “sorry if you’re offended” variety than a heartfelt “sorry for lying.” Watch, then read on.

What caused Rodgers to shift from defiance to quasi-contrition? For starters, I think he expected more support from around the league. Segments like this from game day on Sunday may have come as a surprise:


In fact, they did come as a surprise, per a source who spoke to People Magazine:

The source says that Rodgers “feels like he just shared his point of view, and now he’s being crucified for it.”

“He knew some people would disagree with him, but he didn’t know that it would become the s—storm it became. People who he thought were friends are turning on him,” the source tells PEOPLE.

“He’s upset,” the insider adds. “He’s very unhappy with the response to him.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who’s been harshly critical of NBA stars who refused to get vaccinated, torched Rodgers in an essay yesterday. “If he had a principled objection to the vaccine, he could have chosen not to play, like Kyrie Irving, who at least is honest,” he wrote. “What really sacked his whining stance was his refusal to wear a mask during interviews to protect others from sickness and death. That was merely his hubris and arrogance against what he called the ‘woke mob.’ In this case, woke means compassion and responsibility toward others. He might also remember that the only reason he is able to play in front of crowds again is because all those suckers got vaccinated.”

But whatever. Rodgers can shrug off criticism from within the community of pro sports. When the backlash started to affect his popularity with fans, though, that may have been a red alert:


“Fifty-nine percent of U.S. adults said it would negatively impact their perception of a brand if a celebrity spokesperson associated with that brand lied publicly about their vaccination status,” Morning Consult found. Rodgers quickly lost one business deal because of the controversy when a Wisconsin health-care company dropped him following Friday’s interview. State Farm, the company whose ads he’s best known for starring in, stood by him formally but quietly disappeared commercials featuring Rodgers from national airwaves this past weekend.

In a country where 180 million adults have been vaccinated, many of them reluctantly because they were forced to comply with an employer mandate, a celebrity gazillionaire athlete who lied about his status to avoid the jab isn’t very sympathetic.

Except among righties, I mean, which is why I say he’s a lock to be a Republican senator from Wisconsin someday soon. Via the Times, something new from the NRCC:

The NFL’s vaccine rules aren’t unconstitutional. They’re a private organization and their policy pre-dates Biden’s federal mandate by months. But this is where the GOP is now.

I’ll leave you with this eyebrow-raising remark from the head of Pfizer, which is now asking the FDA to approve booster shots for all American adults. Albert Bourla’s comments are being distorted a bit in some reports today: He didn’t say that all anti-vaxxers are criminals but rather the opposite, that most of them are decent people who are simply afraid of the vaccine. I assume he’d put Rodgers in that category. The criminals, per Bourla, are the professional disinformation artists who make money by feeding paranoia about vaccination. “Criminals” is a stronger word than I’d use since it has a specific legal definition but I can think of some other choice terms for them.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos