Embattled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers confirmed Friday he’s unvaccinated, claiming he’s allergic to Covid-19 vaccines, has taken ivermectin and accused the “woke mob” of allegedly trying to “cancel” him.
The 37-year-old football great, who tested positive for Covid and will miss the game Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, has come under fire for not getting vaccinated.
The reigning NFL MVP said he’s studied the Covid vaccines with the same dedication he puts in every week preparing for a game or hosting an episode of “Jeopardy.”
“Look, I’m not, you know, some sort of anti-vax flat-earther. I am somebody who is a critical thinker,” the Green Bay signal caller told “The Pat McAfee Show” on Sirius XM.
“I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and ability to make choices for your body: Not 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.”
Vaccines against Covid-19 have proven to be a safe and effective tool in fighting the virus that’s killed more than 755,000 Americans.
Rodgers said he has received monoclonal antibodies and taken ivermectin — and thanked podcast host Joe Rogan, who has come under fire for his advocacy of discredited Covid treatments.
“I consulted with a now good friend of mine Joe Rogan, after he got Covid, and I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that he recommended,” he said.
Ivermectin, a drug generally used to deworm animals, has become a popular but unproven medication to treat Covid among some who oppose vaccinations. The Food and Drug Administration has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating Covid in humans and has warned against taking the veterinary form of the drug.
Rodgers didn’t reveal how he gained access to ivermectin, or even to monoclonal antibodies, which is set aside for people at highest risk of severe Covid.
The quarterback said he has an “allergy to an ingredient that’s in the mRNA vaccines” that are made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
He didn’t immediately detail the allergy that blocks him from both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines. He also said he feared possible adverse effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The number of people who have had anaphylactic reactions to Covid vaccines is very small, about two to five cases per million doses, said Dr. Niraj Patel of Atlanta, chair of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force.
“Putting this into perspective, you’re as likely to get struck by lightning as you are to have an allergic reaction to a Covid vaccine,” he said.
Before the season started, Rodgers was asked if he had been vaccinated and he said he had been “immunized.” In the same answer, he said of unvaccinated players, “I’m not gonna judge those guys,” seeming to imply he had received the jab.
Rodgers on Friday insisted he wasn’t lying in that answer, but conceded he didn’t want to answer more questions about vaccination.
“I wanted it to go away,” he admitted. “Everyone on the squad knew I was not vaccinated. Everyone in the organization knew I wasn’t vaccinated. I wasn’t hiding from anybody. I was trying to minimize and mitigate having this conversation going on and on.”
He invoked the memory of Martin Luther King Jr., claiming the slain civil rights leader would have agreed that he had a “moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense.”
The NFL is investigating the Packers and Rodgers for possibly breaking Covid safety protocols.
Rodgers thanked the hosts of the sports talk show for allowing him to speak at length Friday.
“I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now,” he said. “So before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I’d like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies.”
His absence Sunday in Kansas City could have a huge impact on a game between the Chiefs, fighting for their playoff lives, and the Packers, in the running for a No. 1 seed.
Kansas City opened the week as a 1-point favorite, but after Rodgers was ruled out, oddsmakers put the Chiefs as 7.5-point picks.
Rodgers could be back on the field in time for Packers’ Nov. 14 game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur on Friday declined to discuss Rodgers’ interview and insisted he’s not familiar with ivermectin: “I don’t even know what that word or term is.”
More than 193 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, which accounts for more than 68 percent of the U.S. population that’s 12 and older.
Jane Weaver and Saba Hamedy contributed.