Star NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers told a podcast host Tuesday that the media’s COVID-19 “fear porn” led a backlash against him for treating the disease without getting vaccinated.
“There’s so much fear around this,” Green Bay Packers quarterback Rodgers told show host Pat McAfee Tuesday. “And the media plays a big role in that. The fear porn that is put day after day causes a lot of strife and stress for people. Because I don’t watch the news or don’t subscribe to the same type of mainstream narrative … there’s anger thrown my way.”
Rodgers said his previous comments and views against getting vaccinated and treating COVID the way he chose when he had the virus caused many people to cheer when he and his team lost the divisional playoff game to the San Francisco 49ers 13-10 on Jan. 22.
“There were a ton of people tuning in rooting against us for one reason and one reason only,” Rodgers said. “And it’s because of my vaccination status and them wanting us to lose so they could pile on and revel in the fact that my vaccination status was some sort of reason why we haven’t had success in the playoffs.”
In November, Rodgers said he relied on advice from his friend, and podcast host Joe Rogan, treating his case of COVID with monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, zinc, and hydroxychloroquine instead of getting vaccinated.
“I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body,” he said on the McAfee podcast in November. “Not to have to acquiesce to some ‘woke culture,’ or some crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something.”
In December, Rodgers said on the show that he would like to see a debate between those favoring the vaccine, and those who say it is not the only answer.
"Let's have a debate. Let's hear about sides. Wouldn't that be awesome?" he said. "When did freedom of speech? When did we lose the ability to respect somebody's opinion? My thoughts (on COVID-19) are just my own opinion on this matter."
On Tuesday, he said that he did not think the hatred and name-calling directed at him for his beliefs are doing anything to help the world emerge from the pandemic.
“I don’t believe that hatred and fear and name-calling is going to get us out of this pandemic,” he said Tuesday. “It’s going to be love and connection and actual conversation and debate and information sharing. And not information sharing that’s being fact-checked by the same individuals running the pharmaceutical industry.”
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