It took less than a day for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the NFL’s latest openly anti-vaccine player, to hemorrhage much of the goodwill he’s received for seemingly being one of the league’s level-headed ones.
If you’re wondering what did the trick, look no further than his comments comparing his anti-science stance to Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight to end racial discrimination. Rodgers tested positive for Covid-19 last week, spurring questions about whether he’d been vaccinated. Despite previously telling reporters he’s “been immunized,” he clarified Friday that he hasn’t actually received a Covid vaccine.
“The great MLK said, ‘You have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that made no sense,’” Rodgers said during an interview Friday, misquoting the civil rights icon to explain his rationale for skirting the NFL’s protocol for unvaccinated players. (The actual King quote is, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”)
Rodgers is a Super Bowl winner and three-time league MVP who was lauded last year for his comments supporting protests against police brutality.
But bump that. He sounded like a full-on message board conspiracy theorist Friday, King misquote and all.
At one point during the interview, Rodgers said he was taking a homeopathic treatment he claimed had increased his antibodies, and that he’d unsuccessfully petitioned the league to accept the treatment instead of the vaccine. He also said he’s been taking the unproven therapeutic ivermectin since receiving medical advice from podcast host Joe Rogan, who is absolutely not a doctor.
“Why do people hate ivermectin? Not just because Trump championed it, but because it’s a cheap generic and you can’t make any money off of it,” Rodgers claimed Friday, adding that he’s “in the crosshairs of the woke mob” because of his behavior.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned Covid patients against taking ivermectin, which has shown to be ineffective in treating the disease during clinical trials.
All of this, I must say, is very unlike King himself. The reason we know King’s name is because of how open and transparent he was with his political stances. Rodgers, on the other hand, publicly behaved as though he was vaccinated — attending news conferences and events maskless — in an apparent effort to avoid public health protocols.
What cowardly secrecy from a man who fashions himself an heir to King’s activism. Rodgers may be hellbent on tarnishing his own legendary legacy, but he’s better off letting King’s be.
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