Adding more to the conversation. After opening up about his decision to get “immunized” instead of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, Aaron Rodgers is elaborating on his comments following major backlashand giving an update on how he’s feeling.
“I’m feeling really good. I’m definitely fortunate to have the type of care that I’ve been able to have. I know it’s special and it’s helped me get through this better. I also know that it hasn’t been like that for everybody,” Rodgers, 37, said during the Tuesday, November 9, episode of “The Pat McAfee Show” on YouTube. “I know this is a difficult time for so many people dealing with COVID. It’s been a tough two years for a lot of people. This has definitely been a time of a lot of reflection. I’ve had time to think about a lot of things.”
Despite the negative response, the NFL star added that he stands by his comments. “I don’t only talk to ‘Yes’ people or people who allow me to live in an echo chamber of my own thoughts and beliefs. I’m a lifelong student,” he said. “I love learning and acquiring information and talking to people with different views than I have. … That’s how you grow.”
The athlete originally addressed his one-game suspension from the Green Bay Packers after testing positive for COVID-19 by claiming that he “didn’t lie” about his vaccination status.
“The league was fully aware of it upon my return to the Packers,” he explained on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Friday, November 5. “It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie, it was the truth.”
The quarterback noted that his decision was never a secret.
“Had there been a follow-up to my statement that I’d been immunized, I would have responded with this. I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax-flat-Earther. I’m somebody who’s a critical thinker,'” Rodgers added on Friday. “I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy, [in the] ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something.”
For the NFL player, an allergy to an ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna shots cemented his decision not to get vaccinated.
“On the CDC’s own website, it says should you have an allergy to any of these ingredients, you should not get one of the mRNA vaccines,” he detailed, adding that he didn’t want the Johnson & Johnson alternative because he was concerned about “some really difficult times and physical abnormalities” that he heard was a side effect for certain patients.
On Tuesday, the former Jeopardy host recognized that he may be “a role model” to many people. “I want to start off the show by acknowledging that I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading,” the athlete continued. “To anybody who may have felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments. I’m excited about feeling better, I’m excited about moving forward.”
Rodgers also shot down the claims that he was in Los Angeles, California, as some photos alleged, noting that he’s been quarantined in his home in Green Bay.
Following his controversial statements, Rodgers received both support and criticism from fellow athletes. Mike Fisher spoke out about his similar views when it comes to having “the freedom to choose what we put in our bodies and the freedom of conscience.”
Meanwhile, Terry Bradshaw hit back that Rodgers was not being “honest” about his vaccination decision.
“Learn not to lie because that’s what you did, Aaron. You lied to everyone. I understand ‘immunized.’ What you were doing is taking stuff that would keep you from getting COVID-19,” Bradshaw, 72, said while at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on November 7. “You got COVID-19. Ivermectin is a cattle dewormer. Sorry, folks, that’s what it is. We are a divided nation politically. We are a divided nation on the COVID-19, whether or not to take the vaccine. And unfortunately, we’ve got players that pretty much think only about themselves, and I’m extremely disappointed in the actions of Aaron Rodgers.”
When it comes to the remarks made, Rodgers noted that he can “understand” where some people are coming from. “I respect everybody’s opinion,” he shared on Tuesday. “I’m human, stuff can definitely hurt your feelings. I shared an opinion that is polarizing. … In the end, I have to stay true to who I am and what I’m about and I stand behind the things that I said.”
He added, “I have no judgment. Hate isn’t going to bring us out of this pandemic. It’s gonna be connecting and love. I’m not going to hate on anybody that has said things about me. I believe everybody’s entitled to their opinion. I always will believe that. I think that it’s a time to move forward, for me, and talk about football. I’m thankful again, to be on the other side of this.”
There have also been conversations that the scandal will take him out of the running for MVP in the future, to which he responded, “That’s a legitimate statement.”
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For now, however, he’s focused on getting healthy enough to play on Sunday. “I’m an athlete, I’m not an activist,” Rodgers added, noting there is a “possibility” he won’t play if his body isn’t physically ready. “So I’m going to get back to doing what I do best, and that is playing ball.”
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