Packers' Aaron Rodgers takes 'responsibility' for 'misleading' vax status comments, ready to focus on football

Aaron Rodgers slams media after positive COVID test

‘The Five’ panel discusses Aaron Rodger’s vax saga as the Green Bay Packer QB speaks out for the first time.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers addressed the fallout from his latest interview on Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19, saying he takes “responsibility” for misleading fans with ‘immunized’ comments but added that it’s time for him to focus on football again.  

Rodgers made his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday to again address the debate over his vaccine status, expressing his empathy for those who have been affected by the virus and taking ownership over the confusion of his status after telling reporters in August that he had been “immunized.” 

Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. 
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

“Jokes aside, I understand that people are suffering and that this has been a really difficult time for the last two years on so many people. I think we all know individuals who have lost their lives personally, people who have lost their business, their livelihoods. Their way of life has been altered completely and I empathize with those things.”

He continued: “And I also know how sports can be such a connector and bring people together during times of adversity and I do realize I am a role model to a lot of people and so I just wanted to start out the show by acknowledging that I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. To anybody that felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.”

Rodgers first appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Friday and went into great length about the reasons why he’s unvaccinated and maintained he didn’t lie when he told reporters in August he was “immunized.” Subsequent reports indicate that the reigning NFL MVP was “upset” with the criticism that followed but he shot those rumors down on Tuesday. 

“I don’t feel like there is really a need to address that,” he said. “I’ve talked to a small number of people. People in my inner circle who wouldn’t go on the record to be an anonymous source.” 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) hands the ball off to running back A.J. Dillon during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Rodgers appeared to stand by his remarks and his decision to remain unvaccinated but reiterated his understanding of the divide on the COVID-19 vaccine debate. 

“I’m not going to gloss over the last few days,” the quarterback said. “People that know me, know this is true. I’m not spending time reading things that are out there. I know that there is a lot of stuff out there. I know there’s been a lot of comments said. I understand that this issue, in general, is very charging to a lot of people because we’re talking about public health and I totally respect that.” 

“I made a decision that was in the best interest based on consulting with my doctors and I understand not everybody is going to understand that necessarily but I respect everybody’s opinion,” he said. 

He continued: “Hate is not going to bring us out of this pandemic. It’s going to be connecting and love and I’m not gonna hate on anybody that’s said things about me. I believe everybody is entitled to their opinion … I think that it’s a time to move forward, for me, and talk about football.” 

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 17: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after the Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 24-14 at Soldier Field on October 17, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Rodgers also had a message for those either for or against his decision on the vaccine: “I’m an athlete, I’m not an activist. So I’m gonna get back to doing what I do best and that’s playing ball.” 

Rodgers said he’s hopeful that he can rejoin the team on Saturday and be available for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks and that any further discussion regarding his health will remain between him and his doctors.  

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