GREEN BAY (Wis.) -- Aaron Rodgers stated that he didn't lie about his vaccination status and has been following almost all protocols for unvaccinated athletes. He also explained why he chose not to get the COVID-19 vaccines prior to this season.
Rodgers was positive for COVID Wednesday and is currently in a minimum 10-day quarantine. He will not be able to play Sunday's Green Bay Packers game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodgers, in a 46-minute interview, stated that he is allergic two of three vaccines approved by the FDA -- Moderna and Pfizer. These are known as mRNA vaccinations. Rodgers confirmed that he had received a treatment to increase his immunity. He appealed to the NFL to be considered vaccinated, but was denied.
Rodgers stated that he believes strongly in bodily autonomy. He said this during a long rebuttal of misinformation he claimed he had received over the past few days. "Health isn't a one-size fits all thing for everyone and it took a lot of research in the offseason."
Rodgers answered August's question by stating, "Yeah. I have been immunized."
Rodgers stated Friday that "First of all I didn't lie at the initial press conference." "During that time it was a witch hunting that was going on throughout the league. Everybody in the media was so worried about who was vaccinated and why. Who was selfish? Who would talk about it? What it meant if they claimed it was a personal decision. They shouldn't be required to reveal their medical information.
"And at that time, my plan had been to claim that I'd been immunized. It was not a ruse. It was truthful, and I'll go into detail about the immunization process in a moment. If I was asked if I had been immunized after I said so, I would have replied with the following: "Look, I'm no anti-vax, flat Earther." "I am a critical thinker.
Rodgers, 37 years old, stated that Johnson & Johnson shot was his only choice because of his allergy. He said he wasn't comfortable with it because of reports of side effect.
Although he did not reveal the details of the treatment he received before appealing to the NFL for him to be vaccinated, he said that he is currently receiving monoclonal, zinc and ivermectin treatments.
Rodgers stated, "You know, I wanted to immunize my body. That's why this was so important to me." My medical team advised me that the risk of having an adverse reaction [to vaccine] was higher than the chance of recovering from COVID. I decided that it was best for my body.
Rodgers stated that he was suffering from COVID symptoms and that he tested positive on Tuesday. Rodgers said he didn't feel well on Thursday, but felt better on Friday.
"I took this seriously. I am not a COVID-denier. I simply wanted to make the best decision for me. That's all.
Since Rodgers reported to training camp in July, the Packers and NFL were aware of his status. Rodgers claimed he believed he would be awarded the appeal, until a doctor involved in the appeal told him: "It is impossible for a vaccined person to get COVID, or spread COVID."
A league source stated that Rodgers was not contacted by either the joint-agreed upon infectious disease consultants or any doctor from the league. A source says that the NFL was contacted by the Packers medical staff in August about a player who wanted to be fully vaccinated following an alternative treatment. It was not possible to identify the player who sought the exemption. Sources claim that the NFL Players Association was informed that the league doctor would be available to discuss further with the player. However, the doctor was not contacted.
Rodgers stated, "At that time, I knew I wasn't going to win the appeal. It was very shortly thereafter denied." "And now we know that the information that was provided to me is completely false."
Rodgers stated that the NFL sent someone to talk to the Packers about vaccinations, as they were 19th out of 32 in terms of vaccination rates at the time.
Rodgers stated that a stooge was sent to us in training camp early in the season to inform us that we were 19th in league vaccination percentage. "I challenged some things he was saying, and afterwards, I received a lot of thanks from a lot coaches and players."
During training camp, league officials went from one team to the next to ensure they understood the protocols and laid out the terms of agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association. Green Bay did not identify himself as a doctor when he met with him.
Davante Adams (Packers star wide receiver) was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 roster on Thursday. He said that he doesn't pass judgment on his quarterback.
"[He] is a mature man. Adams stated that everyone can do it. Adams said, "It's people who have to find what's comfortable in their lives." It's not just religion. There are many other factors that influence it. Aaron's vaccination status and any questions about it are best left to the professionals.
Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur stated Friday that he hadn't heard Rodgers interview and didn’t intend to listen but claimed that he doesn’t believe the comments would be distracting.
"I believe our locker room is focused on the task at-hand. LaFleur stated that this has been true for years. "I think they do an excellent job of worrying about football, then going out and giving our best effort.
Rodgers described the protocols he followed as an unvaccinated team player. This included daily testing and wearing a mask around the team facility. Rodgers was not asked about his life outside of Lambeau Field where he has been photographed alongside multiple teammates. Protocols state that unvaccinated players must not be reunited with more than three coaches or teammates away from headquarters.
Rodgers said that he doesn't believe he should wear a mask to news conferences. It is against protocol to wear a mask if he doesn't. He stated that he doesn't believe it is necessary for an unvaccinated player to be tested for COVID-19 every day to wear a mask in front of a room filled with reporters who have been vaccinated.
Rodgers stated, "I have been following every protocol to the letter -- except that one that I just mentioned that makes no sense to me."
NFL stated that it was reviewing protocols to determine if they were being followed.
Rodgers stated, "I have taken it very seriously." "I am not a COVID denier nor any bulls---like that. I simply wanted to make the best decision for my body. That's all. When I go out in public, I always wear my mask. My mask is only worn when I am around vaccinated people. To those people, my response would be "Hey, just to make sure you know, I tested this Morning negative, No. 1. 1, and No. 2. You were vaccinated against something you are concerned about me having. I just said that I am negative. This makes no sense to me. I wear a mask when I'm out in public. If I'm not in public, I don't wear a mask if I'm at home.
Rodgers is the spokesperson for Prevea Health. Prevea Health sent a statement when Rodgers was asked if he would keep the role. "Our focus at the moment remains steadfast upon the health and safety our patients, providers and staff; as well as our efforts to encourage all eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for safety and health of all.
The day before their match against the Seattle Seahawks, Nov. 13 is the earliest Rodgers could make a return to the Packers. Jordan Love, 2020 Packers first-round draft pick, will play Sunday against the Chiefs.