When the Green Bay Packers’ veteran quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, had won the 2020 NFL “Most Valuable Player” award in his sixteenth professional season, it seemed he had the sports world at his fingertips. There were almost no sports fans who disliked him. He was even a host on Jeopardy. Rodgers was so loved that, even after he disrespected the Packers organization that had helped to give him everything he has, people were still on his side.
The love fans felt dampened, however, when on the morning of November 3rd, before week nine of the current NFL season, the first news reports that Aaron Rodgers had tested positive for COVID-19 surfaced. This happened just a week after the star receiver on the Packers, Davante Adams, tested positive and missed a week. Initially, the media was not too worried about Rodgers though, as the thirty-seven year old had made it seem like he was vaccinated.
When the news surfaced that Aaron Rodgers had not, in fact, taken the vaccine, he quickly became one of the most hated NFL players, with a new reputation for lying.
“There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated… I think it’s a personal decision, I’m not going to judge those guys.”
To make the sports world believe he was vaccinated, he dodged many questions. In late August when one reporter directly asked, “Are you vaccinated?” Rodgers responded by telling the press that he was “immunized.” Many people, including myself, probably brushed this away because saying you're “immunized” from COVID-19 could easily be interchangeable with being “vaccinated.” When asked about his team, he said, “There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated… I think it’s a personal decision, I’m not going to judge those guys.”
"This vaccine is revolutionary; however we don't know a whole lot about it.”
Just days after he tested positive, Rodgers went on The Pat Mcafee Show. He voiced his strong opinions about the vaccine and his reasons for not getting it. Rodgers was clearly skeptical of the vaccine, and claimed that "This vaccine is revolutionary; however we don't know a whole lot about it.” Rodgers has also told the media that he was allergic to the vaccines and that he was skeptical of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after it was found that people who took it were marginally more likely to get blood clots. He also claimed that the vaccines caused infertility, which has been disproven.
Another possible reason for Rodgers’ beliefs lied in his source for information about the vaccine. He stated that he “consulted with a now good friend of mine, Joe Rogan, after he got Covid, and I've a lot of the stuff he recommended in his podcast and on the phone to me.” Joe Rogan, a UFC commentator and podcaster, is someone known for spreading conspiracy theories and “dangerous COVID-19 misinformation,” specifically misinformation that tells listeners to not get the vaccine.
Furthermore, the Packer star revealed he’s “been taking monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, zinc, vitamin C and DHCQ [hydroxychloroquine] and I feel pretty incredible." While studies from UNC on monoclonal antibodies have proved they “reduced the risk of COVID-19 by 81.6% several months after a single dose,” the FDA has warned people to not use “hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.” Along with this, hydroxychloroquine has undergone studies from the Tropical Medicine Foundation in Brazil that revealed that it “increased mortality” on patients with COVID-19, and has been described as a “nightmare” by scientists.
When Aaron Rodgers sat on the sidelines in week nine of the NFL season because of a positive COVID-19 test, nobody could’ve expected the damage that would be done to his reputation. Since the test, Aaron Rodgers has returned to playing and seems to be in peak form, with almost no punishment for his actions. What’s more, fans can possess short memories. Still, Aaron Rodgers went from being the face of the NFL to a name synonymous with lying.