NFL star Aaron Rodgers has hit out at reports that he ‘lied’ about his vaccination status as he reveals that he has been taking advice on alternative Covid therapies from podcast host Joe Rogan, including the use of Ivermectin.
Reigning NFL MVP Rodgers, 37, was the source of a media frenzy this week when he was accused of lying about his vaccination status against Covid-19 after telling the media in August that he had been “immunized” against the virus.
That was despite it emerging this week that he was unvaccinated after contracting the illness, forcing him out of the Green Bay Packers’ crunch showdown with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend.
Rodgers’ vaccination status comes amid strict rules within the NFL designed to compel players to receive one of the various vaccines, with harsh financial penalties imposed on players who fall foul of the league’s vaccine protocols.
It emerged that, despite Rodgers not having received a vaccine, he appeared without a face-mask at various press events – a situation strictly disallowed for unvaccinated players. By contrast, the Packers had made a host of their unvaccinated players available to the media only by teleconference.
Addressing the firestorm for the first time on former NFL player Pat McAfee’s radio show, Rodgers said that he was aware that he had enflamed tensions with the ‘woke’ mob and that he had become the darling ‘cancel culture’ brigade.
He outlined that he had sought alternative methods to protect himself from the potentially fatal virus – including following podcast host and UFC presenter Joe Rogan’s alternative theories by taking the controversial Ivermectin medication.
“Had there been a follow-up to my statement that I’d been immunized, I would have responded with this: look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax flat-earther. I am somebody 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 sort of ‘woke’ culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something.”
The stance being taken by Rodgers appears to fly in the face of that of several of the league’s high-profile vaccine holdouts.
Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley has also been the source of countless headlines in recent months over his own hesitancy against the various vaccines – and was initially joined by teammate Isaiah McKenzie until he was issued with a fine of several thousand dollars by league authorities for failing to wear a face-mask in his team facility.
McKenzie posted his vaccination certificate to social media several days later.
Rodgers, though, he says that his own personal health shouldn’t be subject to NFL mandates, and that his own research into the matter led to him arriving at his own conclusion.
“Health is not a one-size-fits-all for everybody, and for me it involved a lot of study in the offseason like the study I put into hosting [TV show] ‘Jeopardy’ or the study I put into the playing of the game,” the nine-time Pro Bowl player said, adding that he has an allergy to elements of the mRNA vaccines.
“On the CDC’s own website it says ‘should you have an allergy to any of these ingredients, you should not get one of the mRNA vaccines. So those two are out already.
“My only option was Johnson & Johnson. At this time, in the early Spring, I had heard of multiple people who had adverse events around getting the J&J. Nothing that was… no deaths or anything but just some really difficult times, physical abnormalities around the J&J shot.
“And then in mid-April the J&J shot got pulled for clotting issues, if you remember that. So that J&J shot was not even an option at that point.
“Then my options became, ‘OK 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?
“I looked into and talked to a lot of medical individuals and professionals and found that there was an immunization protocol that I could go to to best protect myself and my teammates.
“It was a long-term protocol that involved multiple months. I’m very proud of the research that went into that and the individuals that I met with… we felt like it was best for me.
“It was not something that the league didn’t know about. The league was fully aware of it upon my return to the Packers. It was at that point that I petitioned them to accept my immunization status as under their vaccination protocol.
“At the time they had only the the ‘big three’ that they were going to do and if you weren’t in the vaccinated category, you were in a different category which involved some draconian protocols and measures you would have to adhere to which, in my opinion, were not based on science, more based in a shame-based environment to try and get as many guys to get vaccinated as possible so that the league looks better to the rest of the world.”
In comments that will almost certainly enflame tensions even further, Rodgers admitted that since he was diagnosed with Covid this week, Rogan has been his chief medical advisor.
Rogers admitted that he has followed Rogan’s own medical strategy – up to and including the use of controversial drug Ivermectin, a substance either hailed as a medical miracle or denigrated as ‘horse de-wormer’ by others.
Rodgers said: “I’m 48 hours in and I consulted with a now good friend of mine, Joe Rogan, after he got Covid.
“I’ve been doing a lot of the stuff that he recommended in his podcasts and on the phone to me and I’m going to have the best immunity possible now, based on the 2.5 million-person study from Israel that people who get Covid and recover have the most robust immunity.
“I’m thankful for people like Joe stepping up and using their voice, I’m thankful for my medical squad and I’m thankful for all the love and support I’ve gotten. I’ve been taking monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, zinc, vitamin C and D and I feel pretty incredible.”