Aaron Rodgers explains 'immunized' comment, says NFL office called him a conspiracy theorist

By , Audacy

Aaron Rodgers knew exactly what he was doing when he said he was “immunized.”

The Green Bay Packers quarterback, who was at the center of controversy over his vaccination status last year, joined Joe Rogan on his podcast over the weekend to discuss a number of topics, but perhaps most interesting was his explanation behind why he chose the word “immunized” when asked if he received the vaccine.

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“So, I had been ready the entire time for this question and had thought about how I wanted to answer it,” Rodgers said. “I come to the conclusion I was going to say ‘I’ve been immunized.’ And if there was a follow up, I’d talk about my process.

“But, I thought there was a possibility if I say ‘I’m immunized’ maybe they understand what that means, maybe they don’t, maybe they follow up — they didn’t follow up. So, then I go into the season [with the media] thinking, some of them, that I was vaccinated.”

Rodgers said the only follow-up question he got was about his teammates who were unvaccinated.

“The follow up they asked was basically asking me to rip on my teammates,” Rodgers said. “’What do you say to your teammates who aren’t vaccinated?’…I said, ‘it’s everybody’s decision with their body. We’re super healthy individuals and we take care of ourselves and we understand what goes into our bodies and I don’t have any judgement on any decision a guy makes on their own body.’”

Rodgers instead sought homeopathic treatment instead of the vaccine because he had an allergy to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccine and refused the Johnson & Johnson shot because of the extremely rare chance of a blood clot.

The NFL had protocols in place for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals but Rodgers presented his case of “immunization” to the league office as part of an appeals process, where he says he was called a conspiracy theorist.

“I said, look, here’s my health issues, here’s the protocol I went through, here’s the research behind it — I gave them 500 pages of research — from a number of people that put together case review studies from homeopathy and immunizations and the safety in them and also the efficacy of them,” he said. ‘I had a conversation with the league — and this is when I knew my appeal wasn’t going to happen — they said ‘it’s not possible for a vaccinated person to contract or transmit COVID if you’re vaccinated.’

“I said you got to be kidding me. I showed up [to camp] and five people — non players — five people who are fully vaxxed are out with COVID. So what are you talking about? And he said ‘you’re a conspiracy theorist.’ I said, ‘No, I think I’m a realist. Just look at the facts here.’”

Rodgers missed one game — a 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs — after testing positive for COVID last season but the controversy did not seem to deter his performance on the field as he won his fourth NFL MVP award.

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