Aaron Rodgers, who last week revealed himself to be a strident COVID anti-vaxxer, attempted to clear the air on Tuesday after widespread backlash to his comments.
Appearing on SiriusXM’s “The Pat McAfee Show,” on which he had unleashed an eye-opening tirade on Friday, Rodgers offered a quintessential non-apology apology to anyone upset that he had misled his teammates and the NFL (by labeling himself “immunized”) and had made public-health officials’ jobs harder.
Rodgers, who tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday, said he was on the mend and “excited about feeling better.” He added that he was ready to “get back to doing what I do best, and that’s playing ball.” He clarified that he is “an athlete” and “not an activist,” though he sure sounded like one last week.
Rodgers clearly wanted to turn the page on this news cycle that has made many fans reevaluate their opinion of the Super Bowl–winning, Jeopardy!-hosting, formerly pretty cool-seeming QB. During Friday’s appearance on McAfee’s show, he revealed he had consulted with conspiracy-friendly podcast host Joe Rogan on how to treat COVID; invoked some favorite buzzwords of the right wing, like cancel culture and woke mobs, to describe the intimidation of the pro-vaccine crowd; and, perhaps most unfortunate, cited Martin Luther King Jr. in his defense.
Since then, Rodgers has been widely criticized for his actions and was dropped by a health-care company that had worked with him for years. State Farm also axed most of its ubiquitous commercials with Rodgers from the air this past weekend, though the company says it is standing by him.
“In the end, I have to stay true to who I am and what I’m about, and I stand behind the things I said,” Rodgers said. So don’t expect the backlash to subside anytime soon.