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Aaron Rodgers says he takes "full responsibility" for misleading comments about vaccination status

NFL star Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday that he takes "full responsibility" for his misleading comments about his vaccination status. The Green Bay Packers quarterback revealed last week that he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and has faced heavy criticism for saying in August that he was "immunized."

"I shared an opinion that is polarizing, I get it. I misled some people about my status, which I take full responsibility of those comments," he said Tuesday on the "The Pat McAfee Show," where he first disclosed his vaccination status last week. "But in the end, I have to stay true to who I am and what I'm about. And I stand behind the things that I said." 

When asked at a press conference in August if he had been vaccinated, Rodgers replied that he had been "immunized." But after contracting COVID-19 last week, he told McAfee he had not been vaccinated, but had instead undergone a homeopathic "immunization protocol" supervised by a medical team.  

In the explosive interview with McAfee, Rodgers said he was not an anti-vaxxer, but claimed he was allergic to an ingredient in the CDC-approved MRNA vaccines. He also said he had spoken to podcaster Joe Rogan and had taken the anti-parasite drug ivermectin, which the CDC has repeatedly opposed as a COVID-19 treatment. 

He also lashed out at the media and the NFL, calling some COVID protocols "draconian." 

"I believe strongly in bodily autonomy, and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture where a crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something," he said last week. "Health is not a one-size-fits-all."

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers on October 28, 2021. Rick Scuteri / AP

Though he did not retract those statements in his Tuesday interview, he did say that he does not want his vaccination status to become a political statement. 

"I'm an athlete, not an activist," he said. "So I'm going to get back to doing what I do best, and that's playing ball." 

After testing positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday, Rodgers sat out last Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He is expected to return this weekend to face the Seattle Seahawks. 

The NFL last Wednesday said in a statement that "the primary responsibility for enforcement of the COVID protocols within club facilities rests with each club. Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual clubs in the past. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will be reviewing the matter with the Packers."

According to NFL Network's Ian Rappaport, Rodgers and the Packers could be fined for violating the league's COVID-19 protocols — which require masks in certain situations for unvaccinated players and limits the number of unvaccinated personnel who can gather indoors — but the three-time MVP will not be facing a suspension.

Zoe Christen Jones contributed reporting. 

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