Even despite the massive backlash from the public, Aaron Rodgers said its outspoken nature isn’t likely to change any time soon.
In his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers defended his comments in a recent ESPN history where he was painted as “unapologetically himself”.
In Rodgers’s case, that involved criticizing “this fake White House” as well as spreading misinformation about vaccines and COVID-19 and claiming he was being censored and silenced despite giving an interview to the “World Leader in Sports”.
“I knew there was some interesting stuff in that piece. Some of my quotes were definitely not context-specific based on how it was written. I stand by everything I said and try hard not to apologize for being myself.”@AaronRodgers12 in his ESPN interview pic.twitter.com/2ttafdACGE
— ????️at McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 25, 2022
“There were parts of the answers that weren’t complete like the answer about the president and some of the answers were shortened, sure, but I stand by what I said in that interview,” Rodgers said. “Most of us strive to be that: we strive to be ourselves and be authentic. There are parts of us that die inside a little bit when it has to act or play a role or not be ourselves.”
He then addressed the situation over the summer where he made his now infamous “immunized” comment regarding his vaccination status and said that if there had been a follow-up question, he would have expanded on it.
It was Rodgers’ way of answering a question he felt was inevitable and even called it a “witch hunt,” while claiming that he was on the right side of these issues and that everyone else will change their tunes and play the nobility. card by recognizing that it was preparing to be targeted in case of a follow-up.
“I really felt that at some point I would have to talk about it. I was interested to see how it would start and for sure there was a witch hunt. Who is vaccinated, who is not, who can we shame? I think as the narrative of COVID change , you will see many people retracting their statements and changing the story and revising what happened.
But Rodgers felt that some of the policies the league put in place were part of a larger effort by the NFL to forego real safety and simply shame unvaccinated players and increase the league’s vaccination numbers.
“It was my statement, and it still is today, that some of the policies the league imposed on the unvaccinated had nothing to do with health and were more shameful than anything else,” he said.
At another point in the interview, Rodgers went on to say that politics was “a sham” and that he did not want to be an activist or a politicized person, despite assuming both roles and discussing political issues.
He also shifted focus from himself and said the problem isn’t so much with his comments as it is with everyone else.
“This issue is so politicized and triggering for people that it’s hard to hear the words of a dissenting opinion if you live your life in an echo chamber filled with confirmation bias. I don’t want my views to bolster anti-vaccine and trigger the vaccine.” people … I want to be someone who has an opinion and is open to hearing from both sides because that’s what we need most in this country.”
Rodgers finally admitted that what he said this season and his vaccination status have been polarizing and divisive, but that was not his intention.
As a result of his vaccinated status, or lack thereof, Rodgers said he felt people were rooting for him in the Packers’ 13-10 loss to San Francisco in Saturday’s NFC divisional round game.
“There were a bunch of people tuning in, rooting against us for one reason and one reason only: It’s because of my vaccination status and because they want to see us lose so they can stack up,” he said.