In an interview given by Aaron Rodgers as he isolated because of a positive coronavirus test, he said that he was a victim of a “woke mob” and that he had unsuccessfully petitioned the NFL to accept his alternative to being vaccinated.
Rodgers, who will miss Green Bay’s game on Sunday against Kansas City, must isolate for 10 days and test negative in order to return.
During a lengthy interview on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers criticized vaccine mandates and said that personal choice should determine what happens to an individual’s body.
“I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther,” Rodgers said. “I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some sort of woke culture or crazed individuals who say you have to do something.”
Rodgers also said he was wary of the vaccines’ potential effects on fertility. In consultation with medical advisers, Rodgers said, he began an immunization process that the league did not include in its vaccination options. The QB petitoned the league to approve his plan, but it was denied.
The league has since addressed his viral claim and pushed back on his words, stating that no doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants communicated with Rodgers. The league added that if a doctor had, they would not have said anything of the sort.
“No doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants communicated with the player. If they had, they certainly would have never said anything like that,” the league said.
Rodgers also claimed that he was allergic to an ingredient in the vaccines.
One of the biggest issues surrounding Rodgers is whether he has been adherring to the requirements of unvaccinated players. They are not supposed to leave hotels when on the road for games; they must work out individually in the weight room, and they cannot use the sauna or eat with teammates.
“Some of the rules are not based in science at all,” Rodgers said. “They’re based purely in trying to out and shame people.”
“The great M.L.K. said, ‘You have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense,’” he added.
The earliest Rodgers could potentially be available again is Green Bay’s Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 14. Jordan Love, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2020, will start in Rodgers’s place Sunday.
The league said in a statement Wednesday that it would review the Packers’ handling of protocols. “The primary responsibility for enforcement of the Covid protocols within club facilities rests with each club,” Brian McCarthy, an N.F.L. spokesman, said. “Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual clubs in the past.”