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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Rips Aaron Rodgers: 'His Lies...Damage All Professional Athletes'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 9, 2021

JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a scathing takedown of Aaron Rodgers for Substack on Monday, saying the Green Bay Packers quarterback "directly and deliberately lied to fans and the public when he assured everyone he was 'immunized,' knowing that word would be interpreted as his being vaccinated."

Rodgers, who is unvaccinated but in July told reporters he was "immunized," is currently on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for the coronavirus and is out for at least 10 days. He missed Sunday's loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Abdul-Jabbar criticized Rodgers on a number of fronts in his editorial. He questioned his decision to get medical advice from podcaster Joe Rogan, who also had COVID-19 in the past.

"If he ever requires open-heart surgery will he hand the scalpel to romance writers because they know about matters of the heart?" Abdul-Jabbar wrote.

He questioned Rodgers' logic for remaining unvaccinated, including Rodgers' attempts to boost his own "natural immunity."

"University of Michigan microbiologist Ariangela Kozik explained that achieving 'natural immunity' through these homeopathic methods is a non-starter because vaccines inform our immune system what the virus looks like so the body can build its own protection," Abdul-Jabbar wrote.

And he suggested Rodgers has made professional athletes less marketable in general with his actions:

"In 2020, global sports sponsorship was worth about $57 billion. Yet, every time a pro athlete like Kyrie Irving (anti-vax), Henry Ruggs (speeding at 156 mph, crashing, and killing someone), Evander Kane (forging vaccination card), or Aaron Rodgers does or says something stupid, the public trust in athletes lowers and sponsors might consider avoiding players in favor of actors, pop stars, or social media influencers. Steph Curry and LeBron James don’t have to worry, but some up-and-comers might not get the same opportunities."

He added that "Rodgers’ ignorance regarding the science of immunology brings back to life the old stereotype of the big dumb jock."

Abdul-Jabbar isn't the only former athlete to criticize Rodgers. Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw was critical of Rodgers during Fox NFL Sunday:

Keith Olbermann @KeithOlbermann

The moment <a href="https://twitter.com/AaronRodgers12?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AaronRodgers12</a> lost Terry Bradshaw. “You lied to everyone.” <a href="https://t.co/sJVxxTtQrU">pic.twitter.com/sJVxxTtQrU</a>

"It would've been nice if Aaron came down to the Naval Academy and learned to be honest," he said. "Learned not to lie. Because that's what you did, Aaron. You lied."

Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee Show last week and said he wasn't vaccinated because of an allergy to one of the ingredients in the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.

He added he didn't receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a non-mRNA variety, after hearing several testimonials from people who had adverse reactions. Rodgers' appearance also saw him make a number of unverified claims about COVID-19, the vaccines and masks.

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