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'I’m an athlete, not an activist': Aaron Rodgers says he takes full responsibility for COVID-19 comments

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Nov 09, 2021

GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers returned to the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday afternoon, four days after he went on the same show and addressed his vaccination status and why he didn't receive the coronavirus vaccine.

He started off the show by saying that he takes "full responsibility" for any comments that might have been misleading to people. But he added that "I stand by what I said" during his previous appearance on the show.

Rodgers missed last Sunday's game in which the Packers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs. He missed the game due to a positive COVID-19 test. Because he is unvaccinated, he is ineligible to return to team activities until Nov. 13, meaning his status for his team's game against the Seattle Seahawks is also in doubt.

During his last appearance on the show, Rodgers said that after he thoroughly researched the vaccine options that alternative treatments would be better for his health. He said he is allergic to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and that the clotting story with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine made that vaccine not an option.

Rodgers received backlash from people like doctors and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who said that Rodgers was not living up to his status as a high profile sports star.

This all started after the MVP tested positive for COVID-19. That's when a previous interview resurfaced in which he said he had been "immunized" - a word people at the time thought meant "vaccinated."

Here is a summary of what Rodgers said on Tuesday on the show:

  • Says he's feeling better. Acknowledges other people have struggled with COVID over the past two years
  • Strikes down reports he was spotted in LA. Says he's been home the whole time.
  • He realizes he's a role model. Takes full responsibility for comments others found misleading.
  • Ready to get back to playing football. 
  • Not paying attention to what's out there. Made decision best for him. Understands everyone won't stand.
  • Has a lot of admiration for Joe (Rogan) and also consulted other friends who had COVID.
  • Says hate won't bring us out of pandemic.. connecting and love. Won't hate on anyone who has said "things" about him.
  • Says it's time to move forward with football. Says he feels healthy and ready to come out of this.
  • Says this has been a good time of reflection for him.
  • Stands by what he said and why he made decision. Has been reading a lot. Watched some football Saturday and Sunday.
  • No need to address reports he's upset with reaction to last week. Respects everyone's opinion on vaccinations.
  • Enjoys talking with people who have other point of views so he can learn. Says there will be stories, but he won't chase them down.
  • I'm an athlete, not an activist. Wants to get back to 'playing ball.' Shared his opinion, involved a lot of study. Was in his best interest. Further comments will stay between him and his doctors. 
  • Talks about watching games from home. Sunday was the third, says it's not fun. Would rather be on the sidelines not playing than watching from home.
  • Hard to be away from team.. proud of the way they battled. Proud of defense and Jordan. Hung in there, played tough. Made really good throws. Special teams was not special. If a couple things were cleaned up the game would have been different.
  • Not nervous about going back, has heard from teammates and staff. Packers have been supportive throughout.
  • He'll be part of as many conversations this week as he can. Expects Zoom links coming to his email.
  • There's a possibility he won't play, but he calls that small.
  • Says he has to pass 'health hurdle' involving movement and sweating. Heart health. 
  • Says he's been doing walking and yoga and will amp up this week with higher physical exertion. Hopefully will feel great Saturday, go through a walkthrough and be good to go.
  • Says Jordan was in a tough situation, really proud of him. Talks about Love's family having bad seats. Says that's typical for young guys.
  • Says he told Jordan earlier in the week to trust his feet, use his athleticism. Tough environment to play in KC. 
  • A lot of good things to build on for Jordan.
  • Says he was trying to guess Packers plays Sunday as he was watching. Super pumped for Lazard. Thought different packages used were good. 

Here's a summary of what he said on the show last week:

  • Rodgers said it was very hard on 'my body my choice' but said he has allergies to what is in Pfizer and Moderna, so those were not options for him. J&J was left, but then the clotting story/shutdown came out and he said that was not an option either. He also has concerns of sterility, says having kids is very important to him in the future.
  • He said the NFL and Packers have known his status. There was a petition to the NFL, ultimately appealed and was denied to him.
  • He says NFL rules are not based on science. He's tested every day as an unvaccinated player, and says vaccinated teammates are not tested as frequently
  • He says he wears a mask when he works out and works out to the side, and has followed every protocol except being unmasked during news conferences. He says he did not follow that rule because everyone else in the room is required to be vaccinated and tested.
  • He said he had symptoms Tuesday, but feels good today.
  • Ivermectin and other treatments were recommended to him by Joe Rogan. He thanked Rogan for using his voice.
  • He said he's the second unvaccinated player to test positive on the team. He said many others who are vaccinated have tested positive in the facility, perhaps referring to team staff.
  • Rodgers said he has taken Ivermectin since testing positive

"Big thanks to everybody who reached out to me, checked on me the last couple of days. Felt really good. Heard from some of the teammates, former teammates, coaches, organizations, friends," Rodgers said last week.

"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'd like to set the record straight on some of the blatant lies that have been out there about myself," he said.

Wisconsin Poison Center reports it has received 17 calls regarding Ivermectin so far in 2021. The FDA has approved Ivermectin to treat worms and other parasites in cows, horses and dogs. For humans Ivermectin is approved "at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms." Wisconsin Poison Center says U.S. poison control centers saw a five-fold increase in emergency calls related to Ivermectin. The CDC has also stated that there is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men. In addition, the CDC says blood clots, Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), is a rare adverse event. CDC data shows it occurs at a rate of about seven per one million vaccinated women between 18 and 49, and is even more rare for women 50-years-old and older and men of all ages.

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