The NFL is not commenting on the statement by Hub Arkush, one of 50 voters for the Associated Press NFL MVP award, that he will not vote for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers because of his off-field personality.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio via email: "This is one of the annual Associated Press awards. It is announced during the NFL Honors show but the league does not select the voters or oversee any element of the process so it's not appropriate for us to comment."
Arkush, a longtime Chicago sportswriter, said on 670 The Score's Parkins & Spiegel Show on Tuesday that he wouldn't cast his MVP vote for Rodgers because he's a "bad guy" and the "biggest jerk in the league."
Arkush said an argument could be made that Rodgers has been the best player in the NFL this season but added, "I don't think he's clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady."
Rodgers has made the news this season for reasons not related to his play.
The 38-year-old missed Green Bay's Week 9 game against the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19, and it emerged that he was unvaccinated even though he told reporters during training camp he had been "immunized."
Arkush said the AP does not have guidelines to follow when voting for the MVP award:
"We are told to pick the guy who we think is the most valuable to his team. I don't think it says strictly anywhere 'on the field.' Although I do think he hurt his team on the team by the way he acted off the field. They're going to get the No. 1 seed anyway, but what if the difference had come down to the Chiefs game where he lied about being vaccinated and ended up not playing and they got beat?"
This is shaping up to be one of the closest MVP races in recent history. Rodgers, Tom Brady, Jonathan Taylor, Joe Burrow and Cooper Kupp are among the contenders for the award.
Rodgers appears to be the favorite after leading the Packers to the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record heading into the final week of the regular season. He has thrown for 3,977 yards and 35 touchdowns while completing 68.6 percent of his attempts in 15 starts.
If Rodgers does win the award, he will become the first back-to-back MVP since Peyton Manning in 2008 and 2009. He will also join Manning as the only players in NFL history with at least four MVP awards.