The National Football League is shutting down claims from Aaron Rodgers alleging that a league doctor told him “it’s impossible for a vaccinated person to get Covid or spread Covid.”
The Green Bay Packers quarterback made the claims on Friday while appearing as a guest on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Sirius XM.
The NFL denied Rodger’s comments in a statement.
“No doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants communicated with the player,” the NFL said. “If they had, they certainly would have never said anything like that.”
Rodgers will be missing a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19 three days ago. He then faced additional backlash after revealing he’s unvaccinated and has sought out alternate treatments, some of which have been widely disproven, during a lengthy appearance on the show.
The backlash from the interview continued Saturday as Prevea Health ended their partnership with Rodgers, who served as a spokesperson supporting health and wellness initiatives spearheaded by the Wisconsin-based health care organization 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,” the organization said in a statement.
While on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers claimed to be allergic to an ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The 37-year-old football player also said he refused to get Johnson & Johnson shot after hearing of people having adverse reactions to it.
The number of people who have had allergic reactions to Covid vaccines is very small, about two to five cases per million doses, according to Dr. Niraj Patel of Atlanta, chair of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force.
Rodgers also opened up about receiving monoclonal antibodies. However, he didn’t reveal how he gained access to monoclonal antibodies, since they’re usually set aside for people at highest risk of severe Covid.
He also raved about taking ivermectin, a drug generally used to deworm animals. The Food and Drug Administration has not authorized or approved the use of ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19. The agency has also warned against taking the veterinary form of the drug.
The NFL has a particular protocol to handle inquiries from players looking into alternatives for getting a Covid-19 vaccine. A player may discuss his inquiry with the NFLPA, the labor union representing NFL players. Medical staff from the union and the league review the player’s inquiry alongside joint infectious disease consultants to determine whether enough updated scientific information exists to approve the alternate treatment.
Medical staff from the league, the union, and joint consultants determined Rodgers’ alternate treatment was not a satisfactory one, meaning he would have to get a Covid-19 shot, according to a source with knowledge of the NFL protocol.
Cristian Santana and Maura Barrett contributed.