Aaron Rodgers has accused the NFL of a ‘two-class system’ when it comes to distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated players
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has again found himself at the center of vaccine drama after he savaged the league’s ‘two-class system’ which affords vaccinated players more rights than their unvaccinated peers.
Rodgers ignited a media firestorm in November when it emerged that he had chosen not to receive a vaccine against Covid-19 despite telling the media the previous August that he was “immunized” against the virus.
It later emerged during an interview on former NFL player Pat McAfee’s radio show that Rodgers had sought alternative remedies against a potential Covid infection, a decision he says was made after consultation with various medical professionals – but was forced to miss game time and enter a period of isolation after coming down with the virus.
Rodgers, who is the NFL’s reigning MVP and one of the most highly-regarded quarterbacks of his generation, later explained that he overcame his infection thanks in part to advice given to him by podcast king Joe Rogan, a figure whom critics have hit out at for opinions on the virus which appear to contradict the general consensus of the medical community.
Now healthy and back on the field, Rodgers made another appearance on McAfee’s show on Tuesday – and has again found himself in the firing line for saying that the NFL has implemented a “two-class system,” while also championing the work of a medical doctor who has been accused in some quarters of spreading misinformation and alleged that scientists have been spreading ‘propaganda’ in the fight against Covid-19.
“I’ve gotten accused of spreading misinformation when I talk about the treatment plan I used to get better, that’s been used by a number of people and doctors,” Rodgers said of his personal treatment plan, which included the controversial drug Ivermectin.
“One of my issues, and I’ve brought this up many times, is one: they don’t talk about the fact that you know guys are getting better, people are getting better using these things. That’s fine, you don’t want to talk about that. There’s still zero conversation, at least publicly, around treatment options for people that test positive.”
Rodgers also added that he doesn’t “have that fear” of the virus, given that he is currently excused from the NFL’s testing policies for a period of 90 days after his own infection.
“What I don’t understand, though, it makes no sense to me to continue to spread this narrative that non-vaccinated players are more dangerous or these super-spreaders, which hasn’t been proven to be true,” he added. “I don’t understand this two-class system that exists in our league.”
The science, he says, is “changing all the time“.
The onset of the Omicron variant has been cited as the primary cause for the current spate of infections within the league which has prompted the postponement of recent games and forced several teams to field vastly under-strength sides due to Covid isolation guidelines.
“There’s not many unvaccinated guys left in the league but it’s obviously not a pandemic of the unvaxxed. It doesn’t make sense to me we’re still punishing non-vaccinated,” Rodgers added.
“What I don’t understand is vaccinated people blaming non-vaccinated people because the vaccine that they took to avoid getting the virus didn’t stop them from getting the virus.
“If science can’t be questioned, it’s not science anymore. It’s propaganda,” Rodgers said. “When did science become this blind agreement and not having any debate over what can actually heal people and work for people?”
“When did we lose the ability to respect somebody’s opinion?”Long before the pandemic and often when what it opined is widely contradicted by the evidence or otherwise idiotic. https://t.co/KNRn01hnEy
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 28, 2021
The larger point raised – differences of opinion are not, by themselves, a problem and we need greater communication across ideological divides – is generally true. The problem is he hasn’t accepted his views on Covid are nonsensical and no further convo on them is necessary.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 28, 2021
I am pro vaccine,however I do feel people have been unecessarily condescending to those who think differently.This was somewhat justified when we thought vacc stopped spread.We learned quickly that was not so. Thus if a guy wants to take a 99.9% chance of being fine, why cant he?
— David (@D555555D) December 28, 2021
Rodgers comments are sure to enflame further debate about the various positions on how to best deal with what is still an ongoing global pandemic, particularly within the context of how a professional sports leagues bridges the divide between maintaining the integrity of their product while also safeguarding the health of players and coaches.
But Rodgers says that he has no desire to engage with those who he says wish to “cancel” him – and particularly those who aren’t influential in the social media sphere.
“They are less than double-digit likes or retweets. It does zero for me to interact with these people,” he explained.
The response online, as Rodger predicted, was mixed.
“‘When did we lose the ability to respect somebody’s opinion?‘” asked sports broadcaster Luke Thomas. “Long before the pandemic and often when what it opined is widely contradicted by the evidence or otherwise idiotic.“
“The larger point raised – differences of opinion are not, by themselves, a problem and we need greater communication across ideological divides – is generally true. The problem is he hasn’t accepted his views on Covid are nonsensical and no further convo on them is necessary,” Thomas added.
This was far from a unanimous opinion though, with another shooting back: “I am pro vaccine, however I do feel people have been unnecessarily condescending to those who think differently. This was somewhat justified when we thought vacc stopped spread. We learned quickly that was not so. Thus if a guy wants to take a 99.9% chance of being fine, why cant he?“