Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ season came to a surprising end Saturday night, losing on a last-second field goal to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional playoffs.
Due to Rodgers being outspoken on his decision to abstain from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, and also misrepresenting his vaccination status in August, there were many who reveled in the loss. All you had to do was log onto Twitter following the game for evidence of that.
On his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers said he was aware that many were rooting against Green Bay due to his vaccination status.
“There were a ton of people tuning in rooting against us for one reason and one reason only: It’s because of my vaccination status and them wanting to see us lose so they could pile on and enjoy and revel in the fact that my vaccination status was some sort of reason why we haven’t had success in the playoffs,” Rodgers said.
"There were a ton of people rooting against us because of my vaccination status & them wanting to see us lose so they could pile on.. we knew this was coming down the pipe at some point" ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/Qgrz2bZYqO
— 🅿️at McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 25, 2022
It was a tumultuous year for Rodgers, who aired his frustrations with the Packers organization following months of uncertainty in the offseason. In November, Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, which informed the world that he was unvaccinated due to the amount of time he was required to sit out. He was hammered in the media for “misleading” the public regarding his vaccination status, after telling reporters in August that he was “immunized” against the virus.
Even with all the distractions, Rodgers had a stellar year, leading the Packers to a 13-4 regular-season record and the top seed in the NFC. He’s the favorite to win back-to-back MVPs, which would be the fourth award for the one-time Super Bowl champion.
But the off-the-field attention was always lingering for Rodgers, causing one media member to tell a Chicago sports radio station in early January that he would not be voting for Aaron Rodgers as the 2021 NFL MVP due to Rodgers being the “biggest jerk in the league.”
“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,” Hub Arkush said on 670 The Score in Chicago. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he is clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady. So, from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not gonna be my choice.”
Arkush was asked if voters were allowed to consider off-the-field issues — like a player’s vaccination status — when deciding who to vote for.
“There’s no guidelines,” Arkush said. “We are told to pick the guy who we think is most valuable to his team. And I don’t think it says anywhere, ‘strictly on the field,’ although I do think he hurt his team on the field by the way he acted off the field. They’re gonna get the No. 1 seed anyway, but what if the difference had come down to the Chiefs game, where he lied about being vaccinated, ended up not playing and they got beat? I think all these things should be considerations.”
Arkush said that based strictly on Rodgers’ off-season behavior — Rodgers went silent as many pondered if he would ever play in a Packers uniform again — he wouldn’t be getting his MVP vote, and the issue surrounding his vaccination status was “one more log on the fire.”
Rodgers’ future in Green Bay, and the NFL, is now in doubt, telling reporters after Sunday’s game that he doesn’t want to be “part of a rebuild” if he continues to play.
On Tuesday, Rodgers said that there would be a lot that goes into his decision, but that if he retires, there would be no chance of a return.
“One thing I will not do is retire and then come back a year later,” Rodgers said.
When it comes time to make a decision, we’ll have a conversation, and that will be that,” Rodgers continued. “It won’t be a long, drawn-out process.”
"One thing I will not do is retire & then come back a year later.. I'm in a really good place with Brian Gutekunst & when it comes time to make a decision we'll have a conversation" ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/vL205RLlv3
— 🅿️at McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 25, 2022
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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