What Aaron Rodgers Said Friday About His Vaccination Status on Pat McAfee’s Show
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers has been under a lot of heat the last few days after testing positive for COVID-19, and clarifying that he was not vaccinated but "immunized."
Rodgers will miss Green Bay's game against the Chiefs on Sunday, and is first eligible to come off the COVID list next Saturday before the Packers play the Seahawks. The Chiefs went from a 1-point favorite to -7.5 after the news, and we'll likely get a similar point spread adjustment should he miss next week's game.
He went on the Pat McAfee Show Friday morning to clarify his position and vaccination status. His "opening statement" video and transcript are below, but here are a few key takeaways.
- Rodgers said he was allergic to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) and was left only with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But he was uncomfortable given the "adverse events" he had heard of around the J&J vaccine before it was pulled for 11 days in May due to clotting for a few recipients.
- Rodgers is a proponent of "bodily autonomy" and said health is not one-sized fits all for every person. He said he did a lot of his own research over the summer and decided immunization was the best path forward for him.
- Rodgers said he never lied about being vaccinated, and that the league knew he was "immunized." He called out the NFL for wanting to appear a certain way to the rest of the world and shaming players into receiving the vaccine for that purpose.
"I'm not an anti-vaxx, flat-earther.. I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long term immunization protocol to protect myself & I'm very proud of the research that went into that" ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVEpic.twitter.com/FDMmI5rZmO
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021
"I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now so before the final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket I think I'd like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself right now and I appreciate my chance to tell my side of the story on here.
First of all I didn't lie in the initial press conference. During that time it was a very, witch hunt that was going on across the league, where everyone in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and who wasn't and what that meant and who was being selfish and who would talk about it, and what it meant if they did it was a personal decision and shouldn't have to disclose their own medical information or whatever.
And at the time, my plan was to say I've been immunized. It wasn't some sort of rouse, or lie, it was the truth, and I'll get into the whole immunization in a second.
Had their been a follow up to my statement that I'd been immunized, I would've responded with this: Look, I'm not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther. I'm someone who is a critical thinker. You guys know me, I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy. And the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something. Health is not a one-sized fits all for everyone."
On His Research into Vaccines
"And for me, it involved a lot of study in the offseason. Much like the study I put into hosting Jeopardy! or the weekly study I put into playing the game. I put in a lot of time, energy, and research and met with a lot of people in the medical field to get the most information about the vaccines before making the decision.
In actuality, it was pretty easy in the beginning to eliminate two of them. And it didn't involve going into their questionable history of criminal activity, and fraud cases and that kinda stuff. It was simply the fact that I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. On the CDC's own website it says if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients, you should not get one of the mRNA vaccines. So those two (Moderna and Pfizer) were out already.
So my only option was Johnson & Johnson. At this time in the early spring I had heard of multiple people who had adverse events around J&J. Not any deaths, just some really difficult times and physical abnormalities around the J&J shot. Then in mid-April the J&J shot got pulled for clotting issues. So the J&J shot was not even an option at that point."
On His Other Options
"So at that point it became what can I do to protect myself and my teammates if there's not one of the big three options for me and my own body. And so I looked into, and talked again to a lot of medical individuals and professionals and found out there was an immunization protocol that I could go to to best protect myself and my teammates, and it was a long-term protocol that involved multiple months and I'm very proud of the research that went into that and the individuals that I met with and we decided it was best for me."
On What the NFL Knew
"It was not again something the league didn't know about, the league was fully aware of it upon my return to the Packers. And was at that point I petitioned them to accept my immunization status under their vaccination protocol.
At the time the big three was what they were going to do and if you weren't in the vaccinated category, you were in a different category which involved some draconian measures and protocols you'd have to adhere to, which were in my opinion not based on science, were more based in a shame-based environment to get as many guys to get vaccinated as possible so the league looks better to the rest of the world. That was the focus of these protocols."