GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – Aaron Rodgers said he did not lie when discussing his vaccination status, that he has followed almost all protocols for unvaccinated players and explained his reasoning for not receiving one of the traditional vaccines for COVID-19 prior to this. season.
Rodgers tested positive for COVID on Wednesday, is considered unvaccinated in the NFL and is on a minimum 10-day quarantine that will keep him out of the Green Bay Packers game on Sunday when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs.
In a 46-minute appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers said he is allergic to an ingredient in two of the three approved vaccines – those produced by Moderna and Pfizer, known as messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. He confirmed that he received a treatment designed to boost his immunity and appealed to the NFL to consider him vaccinated but lost that appeal.
“I strongly believe in bodily autonomy and the ability to choose for your body, not having to submit to some conscious culture or some crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something,” Rodgers said during a long rebuttal to what he suggested was misinformation reported in recent days. “Health is not one-size-fits-all and it required a lot of study for me during the offseason.”
When asked in August if he was vaccinated, Rodgers said, “Yes, I am immunized.”
“First of all, I didn’t lie at the opening press conference,” Rodgers said Friday. “During that time, there was a witch hunt going on in the league, where everyone in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and who was not and what that meant and who was being selfish and who would talk about it, what they wanted say if they said it was a personal decision and that they did not have to release their own medical information.
“And at the time, my plan was to say that I am immunized. It was not some kind of cheat or lie. It was the truth, and I will elaborate on immunization in a second. But if they had followed up on my statement that I am immunized , I would have responded with this: I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not anti-vaccine, flat-earther. I’m someone who opts for critical thinking.’
Rodgers, 37, said that because of his allergy, the only option for one of the approved vaccines was Johnson & Johnson, which he said he was not comfortable using because of reports of side effects.
He did not disclose what exact treatment plan he underwent before appealing to the NFL that he should qualify as vaccinated but said he is taking ivermectin, zinc and monoclonal antibody treatments.
“My desire to be immunized was what was best for my body, and that is why this is so important to me,” Rodgers said. “My medical team advise me that the danger of an adverse event [a una vacuna] it was greater than the risk that I would get COVID and recover. So I made a decision that was in the best interests of my body. “
Rodgers said he had COVID symptoms on Tuesday and tested positive the next day. He was not feeling well on Thursday, but said he was feeling much better on Friday.
“I have taken this very seriously. I am not a COVID denier … I just wanted to make the best decision for my body. And that’s it.”
The Packers and the NFL have been aware of Rogers’ status since shortly after he reported to training camp in July. He said he believed he would win the appeal until, according to him, one of the doctors involved in the appeal said: “It is impossible for a vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID.”
However, a league source said that no league doctor or one of the jointly approved infectious disease consultants ever contacted Rodgers. The NFL received an inquiry in mid-August from the Packers’ medical staff from a player seeking to be considered fully vaccinated after undergoing alternative treatment, a source said. The name of the player seeking the exemption was never provided, making him anonymous. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) was told that the league doctor would be available for further discussion with the player, but the doctor was never contacted, according to sources.
“At that point, I definitely knew I would not win the appeal, and shortly after that it was denied,” Rodgers said. “And now we know that the information that was given to me is totally false.”
Rodgers also said the NFL sent someone to talk to the Packers about vaccines because they were 19th at the time. among the 32 teams in vaccination rates.
“They sent a puppet early in training camp to tell us we were 19th in the league in shot percentage,” Rodgers said. “I challenged some of the things he said and afterwards, a lot of the coaches and players thanked me.”
During training camp, league officials went from team to team to make sure they were aware of the protocols and laid out what the league and the NFLPA had agreed to. The person who met with Green Bay never identified himself as a doctor.
Packers star receiver Davante Adams, who was activated from the reserve / COVID-19 list Thursday, said he is not judging his quarterback.
“[Él es] a grown man. Everybody can, you know, it’s bigger than sport, buddy, “Adams said.” It’s people’s lives and they have to decide what they’re comfortable with. Religion and all kinds of different things are taken into consideration. So better save any questions about Aaron and his immunization status for when he talks to you. “
Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said Friday that he had not heard Rodgers’ interview and had no plans to hear it, but said he doesn’t think the comments will be a distraction.
“I think our dressing room is totally focused on the task at hand. I think it has always been that way,” LaFleur said. “I think they do a great job of worrying about playing football and then going out and doing our best.”
Rodgers detailed the protocols he has followed as an unvaccinated player, including daily tests and use of a mask at the team’s facilities. He was not asked about his lifestyle away from Lambeau Field, where he has been photographed with multiple teammates. The protocols say that unvaccinated players should not gather away from team headquarters with more than three teammates or coaches.
However, Rodgers acknowledged that he doesn’t think he should have to wear a mask during press conferences. That he has not done so is a violation of the protocols. He says he believes it is unnecessary for an unvaccinated player who is tested for COVID-19 daily to wear a mask in a room full of reporters who have been vaccinated and wear masks.
“I’ve followed every protocol perfectly – except for the one I just mentioned that doesn’t make any sense to me,” Rodgers said.
The NFL has said it was reviewing whether protocols were followed, and a source said that any penalties imposed will not include any suspension for Rodgers.
“I’ve taken this very seriously,” Rodgers said. “I’m not a COVID denier or some nonsense like that. I just wanted to make the best decision for my body. And that’s it. I wear my mask when I go out in public. The only time I have not used my mask is when I am with purely vaccinated people. My response to those people would be, ‘Hey, just so you know, I came out negative this morning, number one, and number two, you got vaccinated against something that you might be worried that I would have, and I just told you I’m negative.’ “I can’t make more sense than that. If I’m in public, I wear a mask. If I’m not, if I’m at home, I’m not going to wear a mask.”
Rodgers is a spokesperson for Prevea Health, a local healthcare group. When asked if he would continue in that role, Prevea released a statement: “Our focus at this time remains steadfast on the health and safety of our patients, providers, staff, and communities, as well as our efforts to assist and encourage all those eligible. to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the health and safety of all. “
The earliest Rodgers could return to the Packers is Nov. 13, the day before his game against the Seattle Seahawks. Jordan Love, the Packers’ 2020 first-round pick, will start Sunday against the Chiefs.