Well, looks like Aaron Rodgers has gone full QAnon.
It was buzzword bingo on the Pat McAfee Show today, as he said he wanted to “set the record straight” before — and yes, these are the exact words he used — “the final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket.” Extra points for alliteration! Over the course of two days, he’s gone from a well-respected player who unfortunately caught COVID-19 to a full-on, publicly-professed conspiracy theorist.
In a bizarre 15-minute monologue, he both placed blame on the “woke mob” and also claimed not to be “some sort of anti-vax flat-earther.” After answering a question in an August press conference as to whether he was vaccinated with, “Yeah I’m immunized,” a positive COVID test on Wednesday was followed up with the revelation that his unvaccinated status has been a sort of open secret within the Packers organization.
During the McAfee segment, Rodgers said that he had planned to use the word “immunized” and would have been honest with the journalists had there been a follow-up question in the press conference. It was “critical thinking” and personal study during the offseason, he said, that led him not to get vaccinated against COVID:
“I believe strongly in bodily autonomy. Not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or some crazed group of individuals...I put a lot of time and energy into researching and met with a lot of different people in the medical field to get the most information about the vaccines before making a decision.”
Rodgers also said that he had an allergy to an ingredient that was present in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and that he was worried about side effects that some people experienced after receiving the Johnson & Johnson. He also said that he was worried about the possibility of the vaccines causing sterility, and that some of the vaccine manufacturers had a “history of fraud.”
He said that he’s been following all of the protocols for unvaccinated players, despite believing that several of the rules were not based in science, but instead rooted in shaming or alienating unvaccinated players like himself. He also said that the “media is trying to shame and cancel us unvaccinated people.”
He then directly addressed the “woke mob” and appeared to deny that the vaccine was effective at all, saying “If the vaccine is so great, how come people are still getting COVID and spreading COVID and unfortunately dying from COVID?” To answer that question, a September CDC study found that unvaccinated people are over ten times more likely to die from COVID than vaccinated people, and that vaccinated people were five times less likely to get the virus in the first place. Sooo… that’s why people get it, Aaron.
He said that he gathered “500 pages of the latest research” on the vaccines to present to the NFL in an attempt to appeal his unvaccinated status, an appeal that was denied. The league, he said, “did not offer any opportunity for alternative treatments” that would stimulate his immune system and thought that he was “a quack.”
He went on to tell the audience that he’s been taking the antiparasitic Ivermectin, usually used for animals, and believes that people “hate Ivermectin” because Trump “championed it.” A large part of his argument centered around bodily autonomy and personal decisions, so of course he got in a “what happened to my body, my choice?” He repeated several times that he had made the best choice for his body, and was upset with the media’s and the NFL’s attempts to “out” and “shame” unvaccinated players.
The Packers QB just kept digging that hole, as he said that natural immunity from being infected “hasn’t been part of the conversation” and that there was a “witch hunt” for unvaccinated NFL players. Rodgers hit bingo when he brought up that he’s been consulting podcast host Joe Rogan “a good friend” of his, and “has been doing a lot of the stuff he recommended in his podcast.”
But the cherry on top — you didn’t think we’d miss this, come on now — was the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, which Rodgers cited (semi-accurately) as “you have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense.” Of course, Dr. King was talking about racial segregation, violence, and injustice, but that’s only because he never could have imagined the struggle of a wealthy, high-profile NFL player being at odds with the public over an FDA-approved vaccine.
As always, the internet had jokes:
SInce it appears that he’s had some pretty strong opinions on this all along, it’s unclear as to why he didn’t openly state that he was unvaccinated in August and instead chose to heavily imply that he had gotten the shot. But take this with you — Aaron Rodgers wants you to know that he is the victim here.