The four Pro Football Hall of Famers on the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show lambasted the Green Bay Packers quarterback during the live show from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Rodgers is sidelined with COVID-19 and went on Pat McAfee’s radio show Friday to explain his decision to forego vaccination and rail against the NFL’s protocols.
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he had a COVID-19 vaccination. That and remarks on the McAfee show did not sit well with the Fox crew of Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson.
Bradshaw gave No. 12 the hardest hit.
“I’ll give Aaron Rodgers some advice,” Bradshaw said. “It would have been nice if he had just come to the Naval Academy and learned how to be honest. Learned not to lie. Because that’s what you did, Aaron. You lied to everyone. I understand ‘immunized.’ What you were doing was taking stuff that would keep you from getting COVID-19. 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.”
The Midshipmen in attendance cheered Bradshaw after that.
Strahan did not like the usage of “immunized.”
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s deceptive and it’s wrong,” Strahan said. “And the presentation that he did did not help.”
Strahan added, “There are times to quote MLK (Martin Luther King) and this was not one of them.”
Johnson said he was “disappointed” by the play on words, and by Rodgers’ “selfish actions.”
Long took issue with the public health risks that Rodgers created.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — A Wisconsin health care organization has ended a nine-year partnership with Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers after the quarterback detailed his reasoning for avoiding the three COVID-19 vaccinations endorsed by the NFL.
A statement posted on Twitter by Prevea Health said the company and Rodgers mutually agreed to end their partnership, effective Saturday. Prevea Health and Rodgers had been partners since 2012.
The statement said Prevea Health “remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers and communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes encouraging and helping all eligible populations to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent the virus from further significantly impacting lives and livelihoods.”
The move comes a day after Rodgers told “The Pat McAfee Show” he had sought alternative treatments to COVID-19 vaccination because he is allergic to an ingredient in two of the FDA-approved shots. Rodgers, who turns 38 in December, did not say what ingredient he was allergic to, or how he knows he is allergic.
Rodgers has strongly questioned the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols, along with any organization forcing health requirements on individuals.
“I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and 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,” he said Friday. “Health is not a one size fits all for everybody, and for me it involved a lot of study in the offseason.”
The COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. were tested in tens of thousands of people and proven to be both safe and effective at dramatically reducing the risk of serious disease and death. The vaccines now have been given to more than 200 million Americans and that real-world use plus extra government safety tracking have made clear that serious side effects are extremely rare — and that any risk is far lower than the risks posed by COVID-19.
Rodgers, who has been tested daily as part of NFL protocols for unvaccinated players, found out he contracted COVID-19 on Wednesday. He can’t rejoin the Packers for 10 days and will miss Sunday’s game at Kansas City. He must have a negative test to return to the team on Nov. 13.
The reigning NFL MVP, whose endorsement deals include a starring role in commercials for insurance company State Farm, hinted that his stance on vaccination could have consequences when he described himself Friday as a victim of “cancel culture.”
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly Friday for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19, which will knock him out of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodgers joined “The Pat McAfee Show,” saying he’s “doing well” after contracting the virus. The QB, who is unvaccinated, said when he stated in August that he was “immunized,” he wasn’t being deceptive.
“I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now, so before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I’d like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself,” Rodgers said in a lengthy opening statement. “First of all, I didn’t lie in the initial press conference. During that time, it was a witch hunt that was going on across the league where everybody in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and what that meant and who was being selfish and who would talk about it and what it meant if they said it’s a personal decision (and) they shouldn’t have to disclose their own medical information and whatnot. And at the time, my plan was to say that I’ve been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie, it was the truth.”
Had there been a follow-up question at the time to Rodgers’ use of the word “immunized” to characterize his status, the reigning NFL MVP said he would have responded thusly:
“Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat earther. I am somebody who’s a critical thinker. You guys know me. I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and 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. Health is not a one-size-fits-all for everybody. And for me, it involved a lot of study in the offseason, much like the study I put into hosting Jeopardy! Or the weekly study I put into playing the game.”
Rodgers said he’s allergic to an ingredient in mRNA vaccines, which precluded him from getting the Moderna and Pfizer shots. He then cited a temporary pause in April on usage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for clotting issues as the reason for his dismissal of that treatment. According to the CDC, blood clot issues with low platelets occur at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, it is even rarer.
Rodgers also stated his goal to become a father and how, “To my knowledge, there has been zero long-term studies around sterility or fertility issues around the vaccines, so that definitely was something that I was worried about.” The CDC has said there is no evidence that any COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems in women or men.
Rodgers said he spent time in the offseason researching the vaccines and the virus and met with medical professionals before deciding not to get vaccinated.
“I really felt like, at the time, there was a time and place for sharing of information,” Rodgers further explained when it came to his decision to say he was “immunized.” “It was such a witch hunt. They wanted to out and shame and denigrate every single person who didn’t immediately say, ‘Oh I got the Pfizer, I got the Moderna’, whatever. I wanted it to go away. Everyone on the squad knew I was not vaccinated, everyone in the organization knew I wasn’t vaccinated. I wasn’t hiding it from anybody. I was trying to minimize and mitigate this conversation that would go on and on.”
NFL Media reported this week that Rodgers received homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor to raise his antibody levels and asked the NFLPA to review his status. The players’ union, the NFL-NFLPA jointly designated infectious disease consultant and the league agreed that Rodgers’ treatment did not provide any documented protection from the coronavirus. Accordingly, Rodgers did not qualify for an exemption, and he remained subject to a variety of restrictions, including daily testing, mask-wearing and high-risk close-contact protocol that would force him to isolate for five days based on interaction with a positive individual, even if he tested negative.
On Friday, Rodgers criticized the NFL’s decision regarding his treatment. Rodgers also railed against the league’s protocols for unvaccinated players, saying multiple times that he believes they aren’t scientifically backed. He specifically took issue with masking rules for unvaccinated players when speaking to the media or on the sideline when inactive. Rodgers has not worn a mask during media interviews this year, a matter the NFL is reviewing.
“There have been conversations with it,” Rodgers said, when asked by former teammate A.J. Hawk if there has been communication with the league or Packers on his not wearing a mask during media availability. “I would add this to the mix as an aside. The great [Martin Luther King Jr.] said that you have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense. In my opinion, it makes no sense for me. I test every single day. Every single day.
“If I test in the morning, and I wear a mask in the entire facility, and you want me to wear a mask just to shame me that I’m not vaccinated, to continue to perpetuate a story that I’m not vaccinated, in a room where the only way you can get in that room is if you’re fully vaccinated against a virus that I don’t have as an unvaccinated person … Not to mention, you’re sitting more than six feet away from me — in most cases, 20 feet away from me … Where’s the science in that? Where’s the science in that that says, ‘Oh, that makes perfect sense’? So it was my opinion that that wasn’t rooted in any science. Every other protocol, I followed to the T.”
The NFL protocols were negotiated and agreed to with the NFLPA, for which Rodgers was a players’ rep until Nov. 2020.
Following his positive test, Rodgers will be exempted from daily COVID-19 testing for the next 90 days — until the week before the Super Bowl. He is still subject to daily symptom screening and weekly testing.
After learning he had contracted the virus, the 37-year-old said he consulted with podcast host Joe Rogan on treatments.
“I’ve been taking monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, zinc, vitamin C and D, HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) … and I feel pretty incredible,” Rodgers said.
The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 in humans or animals.
In the interview, which lasted more than 45 minutes, Rodgers chided the media for what he deems unfair labeling of unvaccinated people across the country.
“The situation that I’m in should be a conversation, not a controversy. I’ve made a decision based on what’s best for my body. I just laid it out to you, my health history and why I made this decision,” Rodgers said. “This shouldn’t be a controversy. This should be a conversation. Because of this virus and testing positive, I have to miss 10 days — again the scientifics of that arbitrary number are whatever. I feel really good, and if this were the flu, there’s no reason I wouldn’t play on Sunday, especially the way I feel right now.”
Unvaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 are subject to a minimum 10-day quarantine. The earliest Rodgers could return is the day before the Packers’ Week 10 game against Seattle.
Backup quarterback Jordan Love, Green Bay’s first-round pick in 2020, will make his first start for the Packers this Sunday.
“I’m very excited for Jordan,” Rodgers said. “I have had conversations with him. It’s going to be very strange to watch the game without being there, just my third time ever watching a game on TV of a team that I’ve been on. The other two were post-surgeries in 2006 and 2017. So that’s going to be hard. But look, I hope that we can take a step back, quit lying, quit with the witch hunt and the canceling and realize this is a conversation to be had, not a controversy, and let’s move this forward with some love and connection.”