Using the term “immunised,” Aaron Rodgers claims he misled the media
Aaron Rodgers’s stance on the COVID-19 vaccine remained one of the most perplexing and contentious stories of the 2021 season.
On Saturday’s episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the Packers star brought up the incident again and admitted to host Joe Rogan that his now-famous “I’m immunized” remark was a deliberate diversion.
The 38-year-old Rodgers talked about the words he used to break the news to the media last August. The veteran quarterback told Rogan he was uncomfortable getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and was allergic to a chemical used in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines—glycol, or PEG—after revealing that the NFL had denied his medical exemption.
After missing Week 9 with a COVID-19 positive test result, Rodgers opened up to Rogan about his preparation for the famous press conference last summer after learning that the NFL had been interrogating “a bunch of other big quarterbacks” about their immunisation status.
“I’d been ready the entire time for this question and had thought about how I wanted to answer it. And I had come to the conclusion I’m gonna say, ‘I’ve been immunized.’ And if there’s a follow-up, then talk about my process,” said Rodgers.
“But, (I) thought there’s a possibility that I say ‘I’m immunized,’ maybe they understand what that means, maybe they don’t. Maybe they follow up. They didn’t follow up. So then I go the season (with) them thinking, some of them, that I was vaccinated.”
In November 2021, Rodgers became ill with COVID-19, presumably after contracting it from a fully vaccinated teammate. Later that month, the Packers penalised him for celebrating Halloween with 18 unvaccinated colleagues, and all throughout training camp and the regular season, Rodgers took heat for not wearing a mask when speaking to the press.
After news spread that Rodgers had gotten the illness, he told Rogan he anticipated even more criticism.
“I knew at some point if I contracted COVID or if word got out, because it’s the NFL and there’s leaks everywhere, it was possible I’d have to answer the questions,” he said Rogan.
“And that’s when the s—storm hit, because now I’m a liar, I’m endangering the community, my teammates, all these people. And then, you know, attempted takedown of me and, you know, my word and my integrity began.”
Starting in his 18th season with the Packers, Rodgers will be under a different kind of scrutiny due to the NFL’s plans to introduce significant revisions to its COVID protocol for the ’22 campaign.
The four-time NFL MVP led the Packers to a 13-4 record by throwing for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just four interceptions.