Aaron Rodgers has contracted COVID-19.
As a result, he will sit out this Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Rodgers’ positive test raises more questions about the superstar quarterback and his status, plus brings on reaction from the public.
"Aaron Rodgers is a liar. Aaron Rodgers should be suspended."
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 4, 2021
Rodgers Last Stand
In August, Rodgers responded that he was “immunized” when asked about his vaccination status. What that exactly meant is up to interpretation, but that is obviously by design.
And that in itself is the problem. As a leader of a storied franchise and Super Bowl winner, the onus falls on you in the court of popular opinion to take an actual position on a subject as polarizing as vaccination.
Jay Williams cooked Stephen a smith for grilling Kyrie and not Aaron Rodgers Lmao pic.twitter.com/E1RaTxgR2F
— jw (@iam_johnw2) November 4, 2021
But isn’t that what the narrative has been for superstar Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving?
Double Standard Much?
Irving’s watch-and-wait stance on vaccinations has been the most polarizing position in professional sports domestically and, arguably, globally. On his SiriusXM radio show, Howard Stern said, “In terms of idiots, he’s gotta be the top idiot in the country right now.”
Stern also went as far as to call Irving a “douche bag,” adding, “you’ve got to do what is right, that’s it.”
Aaron Rodgers: FRAUD. Now on @undisputed
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 4, 2021
With all the smoke being brought to Kyrie for staying away from the team, not to hurt their post-season hopes, how is Rodgers absolved for his in-season fuzzy vaccine foible?
Rodgers being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list means he is a player that has tested positive or has been in close contact with an infected person.
“Immunized” Or Vaccinated?
Since it is still unclear what “immunized” means coupled with other blurry statements Rodgers has made, according to CNN, to include:
“Owners have made statements. There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys. There’s guys that have been vaccinated and contracted Covid. So it’s an interesting issue.”
Rodgers is not firm on a position at all, yet has received minimal backlash for that component. In addition, he could have endangered his teammates and media members as a frequently mask-less interviewee.
Smartest In The Room
However, Shannon Sharpe said something interesting on “Undisputed” on FOX Sports.
“Aaron Rodgers always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room,” Sharpe said on Thursday’s edition of “Undisputed with Skip and Shannon.”
Isn’t that the same energy everybody lambasted Kyrie Irving for?
Irving felt that he knew best when he railed against restarting the 2020 NBA season to focus on social justice impact issues, and the media and fans mocked him for it.
I don't like Aaron Rodgers but this whole unvaccinated being penalized is stupid. On sports talk shows they are all berating him because he's not vaccinated but why are they blantantly ignoring the fact that people are still catching Covid while vaccinated.
— McKayla J (@McKaylaRoseJ) November 4, 2021
Then he was derided for potentially costing Brooklyn a championship due to his hesitancy over getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Where are the doubters of Aaron Rodgers’s misguided clairvoyance on the subject matter?
More importantly, on Wednesday, Packers Head coach Matt LaFleur would not confirm if Rodgers tested positive for the virus. He also wouldn’t give his vaccination status but told reporters that Rodgers was in COVID-19 protocols.
Vagueness seems endemic to the entire situation. But the outrage, aside from fans lamenting a potentially lost season, isn’t as loud as it was for Irving.
Aaron Rodgers had an “alternative therapy” and thought it would be considered the same as the vaccine.
Packers should pay him in Monopoly money and tell him it’s “alternative cash.”
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) November 4, 2021
This is concerning for multiple reasons, but mainly the inconsistency of player leadership responsibility. For as much as Irving has been cast as irresponsible not to get vaccinated for the sake of the team’s winning hopes, so is Rodgers for not making clear if he was or wasn’t is still playing.
Who Do You Love? Are You For Sure…
To vax or not is a personal choice, and everyone has to make their own. However, Aaron Rodgers gambled not only his chances of playing during this season but lives when he suited up without a firm stance on his status or vaccination position.
Aaron Rodgers showing the Packers his vaccination card pic.twitter.com/E5EFpW5Nm9
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) November 3, 2021
Keep that same energy across the board for “that bad man,” as Stephen A. Smith calls him. Unless accountability is placed on the masses for picking and choosing what athletes can be right or wrong in the court of public opinion.