Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
Rodgers made a sporadic appearance on the Pat McAfee Show Friday -- which he is typically featured on in a weekly 'Aaron Rodgers Tuesday' segment -- and discussed the situation, confirming he was "feeling good" and addressed reports that he initially claimed to be vaccinated when he actually wasn't.
"First of all, I didn't lie in the initial press conference," Rodgers said. "During that time, it was a very 'witch hunt' that was going on across the league where everyone in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and'who wasn't and what that meant and who was being selfish and who would talk about it and what it meant if they said 'it was a personal decision, they shouldn't have to disclose their own medical information and what not' and, at the time, my plan was to say that 'I've been immunized.'
"It wasn't some sort of ruse or lie, it was the truth and I'll get into the whole immunization in a second but had there been a followup to my statement that 'I've been immunized,' I would have responded with this, I would have said, 'look, I'm not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther, I am somebody who's a critical thinker. You guys know me, I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some 'woke culture' or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something.
"Health is not a 'one size fits all' for everybody and for me, it involved a lot of study in the offseason. Much like the study I put in to hostingJeopardy!or the weekly study I put into playing in the game. I put a lot of time and energy into researching and met with a lot of different people in the medical field to get the most information about the vaccines before making a decision and, in actuality, it was pretty easy in the beginning to eliminate two of them and it didn't involve going into the questionable history of some of their criminal activities, some fraud cases, some of that stuff, it was simply the fact that I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines.
"So, on the CDC's own website it said, 'should you have an allergy to any of the ingredients, you should not get one of the mRNA vaccines, so two were out already. So my only option was Johnson & Johnson.
"At this time, in the early spring, I had heard of multiple people who had had adverse events around getting the J&J. Nothing that was, no deaths or anything, but just some really difficult times and physical abnormalities around the J&J shot. And then, in mid-April, the J&J shot got pulled for clotting issues, if you remember that, right? The J&J shot was not even an option at that point.
"So then, my options became, 'ok, what can I do to protect myself and my teammates if there's not one of the big three options for me and my own body?' And so, I looked into and talked to a lot of medical individuals and professionals and found there was an immunization protocol that I could go to best protect myself and my teammates. It was a long-term protocol that involved multiple months and I'm very proud of the research that went into that and the individuals that I met with and we felt like it was what was best for me.
"It was not, again, something that the league didn't know about, the league was fully aware of it upon my return to the Packers and it was at that point that I petitioned them to accept my immunization status as under their 'vaccination protocol.'
"Now, at the time, they had only had the big three was what they were going to do and if you weren't in the vaccinated category, you were in a different category which involved some draconian measures and protocols that you would have to adhere to which, in my opinion, were not based on science, they were more based in a shame-based environment to try to get as many guys to get vaccinated as possible so that the league loks better to the rest of the world. That was the focus of these protocols."
Rodgers was previously asked if he was vaccinated and responded, "yeah, I'm immunized," as shown in a video shared by NBC 26 reporter Chancellor Johnson on Wednesday.
Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, currently has 1,894 yards, 17 touchdowns, and three interceptions on 173 of 258 passing, while leading the Packers to a seven-game winning streak and a 7-1 record.
The former Super Bowl champion also managed to lead Green Bay to a 24-21 victory against the then-undefeated Arizona Cardinals last Thursday (October 28), despite being without his three top receivers Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Adams currently ranks second in receptions (52), third in receiving yards (744), and third in receiving yards per game (106.3) among all NFL players through his first seven games of the 2021 season.
The 28-year-old receiver recorded six receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown during Green Bay's 24-10 win against the Washington Football Team on Sunday (October 24).
Adams was selected by the Packers at No. 53 overall in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and has since emerged as one of the league's best wide receivers.
The former Fresno State standout is a four-time Pro Bowler (2017-2020) and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2020, earning first-team All-Pro honors.