Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers addressed criticism that followed his recent comments on his decision not to get vaccinated.
Rodgers returned to the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday during his weekly 'Aaron Rodgers Tuesday' segment, speaking publicly for the first time since making the comments on McAfee's show last Friday amid testing positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday.
"I understand that people are suffering and this has been a really difficult time for the last two years on so many people," Rodgers said. "I think we all know individuals who've lost their lives personally, people who've lost their businesses, their livelihoods, their way of life has been altered completely and I empathize with those things.
"And I also know how sports can be such a connector and bring people together in times of adversity and I do realize that I am a role model to a lot of people, and so I just want to start off this show by acknowledging that I made some comments that people might have thought were misleading and to anybody who felt misled by those comments I take full responsibility for those comments."
Rodgers -- who was ruled out of Sunday's 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive last week -- made a sporadic appearance on the Pat McAfee Show last Friday and claimed to be allergic to an ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, while also having concerns over reported adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Rodgers said he underwent alternate treatments, which is why he claimed to be "immunized" when asked if he was vaccinated amid his return to the Packers earlier this year.
The reigning NFL MVP's comments were met with backlash, which included Wisconsin-based health care organization Preva Health ending its partnership with the quarterback, who served as its spokesperson supporting health and awareness initiatives since 2012.
"Prevea Health remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers, and communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes encouraging and helping all eligible populations to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent the virus from further significantly impacting lives and livelihoods," Prevea Health said in a statement.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Rodgers "is unvaccinated" and "that's why he's out" for Sunday's game, prior to Rodgers' appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
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 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 on Thursday, October 28th, despite being without his three top receivers Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.