Amid the controversy about his vaccination status after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has attempted to clarify some things.
Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers explained he "didn't lie" during the offseason when he told reporters he was immunized.
"And at the time, my plan was to say I'd been immunized. It wasn't some sort of ruse, or lie. It was the truth. ... Had there been a follow-up to my statement that I'd been immunized...I would've said, 'look, I'm not some sort of anti-vaxx, flat-earther. I'm somebody who's a critical thinker.' ... 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-size fits all for everybody. And for me, it involved a lot of study in the offseason. ... I put a lot of time and energy into research, and met with a lot of different people in the medical field to get the most information about the vaccines before making the decision."
Rodgers went on to say he didn't get the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccine because of an allergy to an ingredient used. He also said that he took medical advice from UFC analyst and podcast host Joe Rogan since testing positive.
"I'm 48 hours in [after the positive test]," Rodgers explained. "And I consulted with a now-good-friend of mine, Joe Rogan, after he got COVID. And I've been doing a lot of the stuff that he recommended in his podcasts and, you know, on the phone to me, and I'm gonna have the best immunity possible now based on the 2.5 million person study from Israel that the people who get COVID have the most robust immunity."
The study Rodgers referenced—which also concluded that individuals who had contracted COVID-19 and received a vaccine gained additional protection against the virus—has not yet been peer-reviewed which means its findings have not yet been evaluated.
The reigning NFL MVP said he looked into the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but he opted to go with a "long term protocol that involved multiple months" of treatment after the use of the J&J shot was briefly paused after some concerns about blood-clotting side effects that were mainly reported in women younger than 50 years old.
At the time the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused in April, a total of six cases of blood clots had been reported out of approximately 6.8 million doses administered. The CDC and FDA reauthorized the vaccine on April 23.
Per ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Rodgers petitioned the NFL "for that treatment to allow him to be considered the same as someone who received one of the approved vaccinations."
The NFL and NFL Players Association and an infectious disease expert approved by both parties denied Rodgers' request for an exemption.
During an Aug. 27 press conference, Rodgers was asked specifically about his vaccination status.
"Yeah, I’ve been immunized," he told reporters. "There’s a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements, owners who have made statements. There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys."
Rodgers' use of "immunized" has become a significant talking point since his vaccination status was made public. He has been conducting postgame interviews in the media room without wearing a mask all season, which is a violation of NFL protocols for unvaccinated players.
Per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the NFL has opened an investigation to determine whether or not Rodgers violated COVID-19 protocols inside of team facilities.
Glazer did note Rodgers would likely be fined, but not suspended, if the league finds any wrongdoing.
The earliest Rodgers can return to the Packers is 10 days after his positive test on Nov. 3, as long as he remains asymptomatic and return two negative tests 24 hours apart.