The fallout from allegations that Aaron Rodgers lied about his vaccination status continues. The Green Bay Packers quarterback came under fire in early November after he tested positive for COVID-19, months after telling reporters he was “immunized.”
During an August press conference, Rodgers spoke about the National Football League’s guidelines ahead of the 2021 season.
“You know, there’s a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements, owners who have made statements,” he said at the time. “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. There are guys that’ve been vaccinated that have contracted COVID. It’s an interesting issue that I think we’re going to see played out the entire season.”
After news broke that Rodgers had contracted coronavirus in November, he claimed that he underwent his own protocol and treatments to “stimulate my immune system to create a defense against COVID” following his own “research” into the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I didn’t lie in the initial press conference,” the football player claimed on The Pat McAfee Show on November 5. “And at the time my plan was to say I’ve been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie … I found an immunization protocol that could best protect me and my teammates. And it was a long-term protocol that involved multiple months.”
Infectious disease epidemiologist Tara C. Smith subsequently told The Washington Post: “People like Rodgers and others who are publicly doubting vaccines take the opposite tack and just find research that already confirms their preexisting biases. And that’s not how science works. … Sometimes treatments can reduce the severity of illness or reduce the length of time you are sick, but vaccination prevents you from becoming sick in the first place.”
During his lengthy appearance on the SiriusXM show, Rodgers claimed that the NFL was aware of his vaccination status, and he was following the guidelines as an “unvaccinated person” despite attempting to appeal the league’s ruling with “500 pages of research.”
According to Rodgers, he was forced to wear a yellow wristband during practice and events with the team to identify his unvaccinated status, is not allowed to leave the hotel or eat with the team during road games, must work out on his own in the weight room and cannot use the sauna.
“Some of the rules are not based in science at all. They’re based purely in trying to out and shame people,” he argued. “Personal health decisions should be private. The shaming and the outing … Everyone has their own story. This shamming, cancel society, that is wrong.”
In addition to missing at least one game of the season, Rodgers has faced backlash and lost a partnership with a health care company. Scroll through for a breakdown of the controversy: