By Ken Reed
Let’s be clear: Aaron Rodgers has every right to hold whatever thoughts and beliefs he might have about Covid-19 and vaccines.
But that freedom ends when his actions have a negative — or potentially negative — health impact on others.
What the unvaccinated don’t seem to get is this game called life we’re all playing is a team sport, not an individual sport. His choice to walk around unvaccinated during a pandemic, among people of all ages and medical conditions, isn’t about his “body autonomy.” It’s about how his choice potentially endangers others and represents a public health threat.
Rodgers is certainly free to be an independent thinker, get his medical advice from whoever he likes (Joe Rogan?), be faithful to his principles, and sit out the NFL season like the NBA’s Kyrie Irving has done. But no, he wanted to have his cake and eat it too. He wanted to avoid getting vaccinated — unlike the vast majority of his teammates who got jabbed not only for themselves but for the team — play this NFL season (a season which wouldn’t be possible without the vaccines), pull in his monstrous salary and slide through it all without having to deal with any consequences from his
In his attempt to pull that off, Rodgers decided he’d lie.
When asked in August by a reporter whether he had been vaccinated, Rodgers said, “Yeah, I’ve been immunized“. This week on SiriusXM’s “The Pat McAfee Show” he said he wasn’t trying to deceive anyone with that comment. Well, you don’t need a high quality BS detector to identify that crap.
We thankfully have a lot of great freedoms in this country but there are limits to those freedoms when it comes to public safety. That’s why we have stoplights on our roads and speed limits on our highways. That’s why we have “No Smoking” rules in most of our public places. Your freedom ends when it negatively effects my health.
Rodgers doesn’t seem to get that. His comments on the McAfee show were all about “me” not “we.” True leaders, strong leaders, aren’t “me” people, they are “we” people.
What made Rodgers’ comments even worse were all the misleading comments he laid out for McAfee’s listeners, like falsely claiming “it’s a total lie” to suggest that what we’re dealing with these days is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. A CDC study of more than 600,000 cases of COVID-19 found that unvaccinated people were 4.5 times more likely to get infected, 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die than their vaccinated counterparts.
Rodgers said he was concerned about the safety of vaccines yet touted ivermectin on the McAfee show, a drug used to treat parasites and scabies and lacking FDA approval as a Covid treatment.
“Unfortunately, the few high-quality studies that have been done to date do not demonstrate a beneficial effect of ivermectin when it is used in people with COVID-19,” according to Denise McCulloch, an infectious disease specialist with the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.
By the way, Rodgers left his Green Bay teammates out to dry in a game against Kansas City this past Sunday. While his decision to not get vaccinated resulted in him sitting on his couch at home, his teammates were left to try and beat Kansas City on the road with a rookie QB at the helm. The Rodgers-less Packers put up all of 7 points in the loss to Kansas City.
Maybe the worst part of this whole situation is that instead of looking in the mirror and accepting responsibility for his choices and actions, Rodgers chose to attack his critics. He told McAfee he wanted to publicly state his reasons for not getting vaccinated before the “final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket.”
Hey Aaron, it’s not cancel culture, it’s called accountability. As a famous role model, if you spew dangerous misinformation you’re going to be held accountable for it.
Finally, Rodgers, in a final “woe is me” statement said the “woke mob” is out to get him.
No, Aaron, the woke mob didn’t get you in this case, you got yourself.
Oh, by the way, good luck looking all your Green Bay teammates in the eyes after your actions might have cost them a playoff berth or high playoff seed.
Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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