After Positive Test, Aaron Rodgers Is Under Fire

Packers QB claimed to be 'immunized,' but he wasn't vaccinated
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2021 12:46 PM CDT
After Positive Test, Aaron Rodgers Is Under Fire
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first half of an NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 28, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

When reporters asked Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in August if he'd been vaccinated, he said, "Yeah, I've been immunized," adding, "There's guys on the team that haven't been vaccinated. I think it's a personal decision." But on Wednesday, reported that Rodgers had tested positive for COVID-19—and was unvaccinated. Rodgers, the NFL's reigning MVP, will now be out until at least Nov. 13, the day before the Packers play the Seahawks. He's being strongly criticized both for the misleading remarks and for potentially putting teammates and others at risk. More:

  • Homeopathic treatment. Instead of being vaccinated, Rodgers received homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor, reports. The players union and the league, however, agreed there was no proof the treatment was effective, and Rodgers' request for an exemption for COVID protocols was denied.

  • Questions about what the team knew. Even if you give Rodgers the benefit of the doubt and assume he "really believed whatever cockamamie home remedy some friend whipped up afforded him the same immunity against the virus as the vaccine," his remarks were clearly misleading and they raise questions about what the Packers knew, writes Jim Litke at the AP. He notes that Packers coach Matt LaFleur "deftly sidestepped" a question Wednesday about whether the "immunization" remark was misleading, saying, "It's a great question for Aaron. I'm not going to comment on it."
  • 'Exposed as a fraud.' "The guy who loves to preach about the brotherhood of the locker room ... has been exposed as a fraud," writes Nancy Armour at USA Today. "How is not being available for what is arguably one of Green Bay's biggest games this season, at Kansas City on Sunday, when the Packers were already short-handed, being the team leader that Rodgers supposedly prides himself on being?"
  • Fails the leadership test. That's how Sally Jenkins frames Rodgers' actions at the Washington Post. She says his remarks were a "lie by omission." It's his choice whether to be vaccinated, "but what Rodgers did was demeaning to others," she writes. "He also had a choice about whether to be forthright about his status or be duplicitous. He chose the second option and apparently went around unmasked to make it convincing."

  • League is reviewing Packers protocols. The NFL said Wednesday that it will review the team's handling of COVID protocols. The New York Times reports that the league bars unvaccinated players from numerous activities, including attending parties without PPE. Photos from the weekend show Rodgers, unmasked, at a Halloween party with his teammates. He was also unmasked at numerous postgame press conferences this season, another violation of protocols for unvaccinated players.
  • 'Surely unethical.' The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel rounds up some of the reactions on Twitter. "Not being vaccinated *may* be unwise, but lying or misleading others about your vaccination status is surely unethical," tweeted former Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
  • He 'needs to be suspended.' "By the Packers. By the NFL. By anyone who has the guts to step up and do [the] right thing even if it could hurt Green Bay's playoff position," argues Andy Nesbitt at For the Win. He adds: "Here's what will likely happen—nothing."
(More Aaron Rodgers stories.)

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