Rodgers: ‘I’m an athlete, not an activist,’ apologizes to those who feel misled

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Returning to the Pat McAfee Show four days after his comments on not getting the COVID-19 vaccine created national headlines and division among the fanbase, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers apologized to those who felt he provided misleading information about the vaccine while also saying he won’t speak publicly on the subject going forward.

Rodgers’ appearance last Friday, in which he explained an allergy prevented him from getting the mRNA vaccines but also appeared to tout the use of unapproved treatments for COVID-19, led to some sponsors drastically reducing his appearances in ads over the weekend or dropping him altogether.

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On Tuesday, Rodgers offered some contrition, while also maintaining he was doing what his doctors determined to be the best course of action for him.

“I realize that I am a role model to a lot of people, and so I just want to start off this show by acknowledging that I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading,” Rodgers said. “To anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.”

Rodgers said multiple times he feels fortunate to have recovered as well as he has from COVID, knowing that’s not the case for everyone and that he had the benefit of specialized care.

“I understand that people are suffering and this has been a really difficult time for the last two years on so many people,” Rodgers said. “I think we all know individuals who lost their lives, people who have lost their businesses, their livelihoods, their way of life has been altered completely, and I empathize with those things.”

Still, Rodgers said he stands by his decision not to get vaccinated and what he said last week about his reasoning.

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“I made a decision that was in my best interests after consulting with my doctors, and I understand that not everybody is going to understand that necessarily, but I respect everybody’s opinion.”

Rodgers said his quarantine at his home in Green Bay has been a reflective time for him as he’s recovered, and he’s talked to many people — both vaccinated and unvaccinated — during his recovery.

“I respect everybody’s opinion, I don’t only talk to yes people or people who allow me to live in an echo chamber of my own thoughts and beliefs,” Rodgers said. “I’m a lifelong student, I love learning, and talking to people and acquiring information from people who have different point of views than I have.”

He also says he’s likely done speaking publicly about his feelings on the pandemic and vaccines, agreeing with McAfee’s assessment that Rodgers has no interest in being a posterboy for an anti-vax movement.

“I’m an athlete, not an activist. So I’m going to get back to doing what I do best, and that’s playing ball,” Rodgers said. “I shared my opinion, it wasn’t one that was come to frivolously, it involved a lot of study, and what I felt like was in my best interest for my body.”

“Further comments I’m going to keep between myself and my doctors. I don’t have any further comments about any of those things after this interview,” Rodgers said.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has said that Rodgers will start Sunday’s game against former Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks if he’s cleared to return. Rodgers is eligible to return to the facility on Saturday.