Packers’ Aaron Rodgers on being outspoken: ‘I don’t want to apologize for being myself’

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers used a wide-ranging, 28-minute interview with an ESPN reporter this week to hold forth on a bunch of subjects, from his now-infamous “immunized” remark to his perception that he is being silenced.

He additionally insisted that each one of his feedback this season have come from the unadulterated model of himself.

“I do not wish to apologize for being myself,” he informed reporter Kevin Van Valkenburg. “I simply wish to be myself.”

Rodgers spoke with Van Valkenburg by telephone on Thursday, two days earlier than the Packers’ NFC divisional spherical playoff matchup with the 49ers. He stated he granted the reporter’s interview request as a result of he thought Van Valkenburg needed to jot down a “hit piece” (Van Valkenburg stated he submitted inquiries to the Packers beforehand) and Rodgers needed to counteract that. The primary glimpse into the tone of the interview was introduced within the story’s opening paragraphs as Rodgers’ “Atlas Shrugged” second was examined.

MORE: Timeline of Rodgers vaccine drama, from ‘immunized’ to ‘COVID toe’

Rodgers pulled the Ayn Rand novel from his bookshelf throughout a Week 17 look on ESPN’s “Monday Evening Soccer” Manningcast, after the brothers Manning requested Rodgers what he was studying. The mere truth the ebook made an look on the present was sufficient to anger individuals, and Rodgers wasted no time opining on their reactions. He informed Van Valkenburg he has by no means learn the ebook.

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“It is a ebook. I can learn one thing and never instantly have it overtake my private ideologies,” Rodgers stated. “And that is the issue with society, is every thing is triggering and offensive. It is wild.”

Rodgers repeatedly performed his best hits about issues being triggering and the way he and different skeptics are being “silenced” and “censored” on the subject of COVID-19 and vaccines. He additionally criticized President Joe Biden for his “pandemic of the unvaccinated” remark in December. He did all this whereas giving an interview to the self-proclaimed Worldwide Chief in Sports activities.

MORE: Rodgers takes goal at Brady with ‘Deflategate’ feedback

“Are they censoring terrorists or pedophiles? Criminals who’ve Twitter profiles? No, they’re censoring individuals, and so they’re shadow-banning individuals who have dissenting opinions about vaccines,” Rodgers stated. “If you censor and make pariahs out of anyone who questions what you consider in or what the mainstream narrative is, that does not make any sense.”

Rodgers’ stance on COVID and vaccines have gotten him into sizzling water. In August, he was requested about his vaccination standing; he replied that he was “immunized” in opposition to the virus. He informed Van Valkenburg he knew the query was coming and had lengthy been calculating how he’d reply.

BENDER: 49ers vs. Packers odds, choose, predictions for 2022 divisional spherical sport

“I had a plan entering into for that query to be requested,” Rodgers stated. “It was a pseudo witch hunt occurring — who was vaccinated, who wasn’t vaccinated. I used to be in a multimonth dialog that become an attraction course of with the NFL at the moment, and my attraction hinged on that actual assertion [‘immunized’]. So what I stated was, No. 1, factually true. I went via a multi-immunization course of. And on the finish of that, I do not know what you’d name it, I’d name it immunized.”

Rodgers, who routinely violated NFL protocols by not carrying a masks in postgame interviews, examined optimistic for COVID-19 in early November. He needed to miss Inexperienced Bay’s loss at Kansas Metropolis in Week 9.

MORE: Packers anticipated to get WR Cobb again for matchup with 49ers


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