Criticizing the “wakening crowd”, “canceling culture” and what he called a “witch hunt” against him, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers vigorously defended his decision not to get the coronavirus vaccine during his appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “On Friday, lashing out at the NFL protocols on the coronavirus and stating that they are” based not on science, but on a more shameful environment. “
Rogers was revealed on Wednesday to have tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss Sunday’s game against Kansas City. He cannot return to the Packers until the day prior to their week 10 game against Seattle Seahawks. Rogers said he experienced COVID-19 symptoms earlier this week and “didn’t feel well,” but got better on Friday.
In August, Rogers was told he was considered unvaccinated under league and NFL Players’ Association protocols after he raised questions about his vaccine classification.
In August, Rogers responded to a reporter’s question about his vaccinations, saying he was “vaccinated.” At the start of Friday’s nearly 20-minute opening statement during a speech that lasted nearly an hour, Rogers said he hadn’t lied about his status.
“It was not some kind of trick or a lie,” he said, as if reading prepared remarks in advance. “If my statement that I was vaccinated were a continuation, I would. … … said, “Look, I’m not some kind of anti-Wax flat-earther. I am a critical thinker. ” Do you know me. I walk to the beat of my drum.
“I strongly believe in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body rather than agreeing with some awakened culture or crazy group of people who say you have to do something. Health is not universal for everyone. And for me it took a lot of study in the offseason. … … … I spent a lot of time and energy researching this issue and met with many people to get as much information as possible about vaccines before I made a decision. ”
Rogers said he cannot get Moderna or Pfizer vaccines because he is allergic to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines produced by those companies. Rogers did not indicate a specific allergy.
According to him, the only option for him was a vaccine created by Johnson & Johnson, but he “heard of a few people who had side effects when receiving J&J. … … physical deviations from the norm with the injection of J&J. And then, in mid-April, the J&J shot was canceled due to blood clotting problems. So at that moment the shot with J&J was not even considered. “
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine returned to the market a few days later because regulators determined that the benefits outweighed the risks.
According to Rogers, “after talking to a variety of medical professionals and professionals,” he “found an immunization protocol he could go through to better protect himself,” which did not involve getting one of the three vaccines available. He later said that he also consulted podcaster Joe Rogan, his “now good friend,” who said he treated his own covid attack with ivermectin, an antiparasitic agent that the FDA did not is an effective treatment for the disease. … Rogers said he also took prescription ivermectin.
“I am grateful to people like Joe who came forward and used their voices,” Rogers said.
Rogers said he petitioned the Packers and the NFL during preseason to accept this alternate protocol – he “collected over 500 pages of immunization efficacy research,” he said – but said he realizes he won’t win his argument when one of the NFL doctors told him that “a vaccinated person cannot get infected or spread the coronavirus.” … … and we now know that this information is completely false. ”Rogers later denounced that the league did not give an opportunity to consider“ alternative drugs ”.
According to someone familiar with the league’s handling of the matter, not a single NFL doctor or any infectious disease consultants used by the league and the NFL Players’ Association spoke to Rogers during the trial. In August, the person said, a Packers health professional asked on behalf of Rogers at the NFLPA if alternative homeopathic treatment could result in the player being treated as the equivalent of being vaccinated according to protocols.
The NFLPA forwarded the Packers’ request, along with material provided by Rogers, to Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief physician, and infectious disease consultants. The review concluded that there was not enough scientific evidence to support the petition, the person said, and the NFLPA indicated it would keep Rogers informed of the decision.
Unvaccinated NFL players face stricter restrictions than vaccinated players and are tested daily for coronavirus, and Rogers said Friday that he followed those rules and that the Packers knew he was not vaccinated. He said that his decision not to get one of the vaccinations he had accepted “was the best for my body. … My medical team informed me that the risk of side effects is higher than the risk of contracting COVID and recovery. So I made a decision in the interests of my body. “
Rogers added that he is worried about the impact of the vaccine on his chances of fathering children, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no evidence that coronavirus vaccines cause fertility problems.
Regarding the NFL’s coronavirus policy, Rogers said “it’s not science-based at all, it’s solely based on trying to shame and shame people” and make unvaccinated people “feel like the most dangerous people in society.” He wondered why the league is forcing people to wear masks around vaccinated people and why unvaccinated people should be tested every day when vaccinated people can also spread the virus.
“The great MLK said,“ You have a moral obligation to object to unfair rules and rules that don’t make sense, ”Rogers said, paraphrasing the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rogers lashed out at reporters, who, he said, “tried to shame and abolish all of us unvaccinated people, calling us selfish:” You are selfish because you make a decision that is in the best interests of your body. ” … I come back to two questions for this awakened crowd: number one, if the vaccine is so good, why are so many people getting COVID, spreading COVID and sadly dying from COVID? … For the media that shoot me: Like, you don’t know my story. Now you. So stop lying about it. “
On Thursday, the NFL said it will review the case with the NFLPA to determine if there have been any protocol violations. The NFL will consider fines for the Packers and Rogers if protocol violations are found, but Rogers will not face the possibility of suspension, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday night. Rogers must remain in isolation for 10 days and can rejoin the Packers at this point if he has no symptoms.
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Mark Muske of the Washington Post contributed to this report.