Early in his career, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t in a spot to say much. But now that he’s grown into a full-blown star, the Packers quarterback isn’t bashful about sharing his opinions, even when he’s jokingly answering “Sssshhhh,” to his critics.
Like many players, Rodgers has his own radio show (his is on ESPN Milwaukee), which creates a weekly discussion thanks to his willingness to say what other players won’t.
“The fact he has had success, people are more interested in him,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, via Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com. “He’s answering more questions than he ever has. He is a young man that has a lot of depth and interests. He’s a very interesting person.”
From ripping the Pro Bowl to apologizing to fans for the replacement ref debacle in Seattle this year, his listeners get his unvarnished opinions, of which he has many. That included defending his friend Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, whose failed drug test was overturned on appeal.
“I believe in the truth,” Rodgers said. “I know there are three sides to every story — each person’s individual side and what actually is the truth.
“Because of my friendship with Ryan, I was privy to some other [private] information. He needed support. In his time of need, I needed to stand by him.”
Many players are frankly scared to speak out, because they don’t want to deal with the backlash if they voice an opinion that’s the least bit controversial (or even just a harsh truth).
“If you’re not politically correct, you make headlines around here and get your quotes put on ESPN and misinterpreted,” outside linebacker Clay Matthews said. “So 99.9 percent of the time, we have to tell you stuff that might not be the truth. That’s the reality of it.
“With that, I think he’s just being honest [on the radio show]. You can’t fault him for that.”
Other quarterbacks with their own shows will soft-shoe through them, trying to say as little as possible. Not Rodgers.
“I’ve spoken the truth,” he said. “That’s always the easiest way to do it, in my opinion.”
A novel concept, which makes him a must-listen, and sadly, rare.