Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ outspoken support of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun’s staunch denial of performance-enhancing drug use came back to bite him this week when Braun was suspended 65 games by Major League Baseball and admitted that he was a great deal less than truthful in those denials.
Rodgers addressed Braun’s suspension and his support, which included a Twitter bet of a year’s salary, for Braun in the past on Friday by saying he doesn’t regret backing up a friend, but that he wishes he had a more measured response at the time. He also wishes that Braun had not looked him in the face and lied.
“I was shocked, I really was, just like many of you were,” Rodgers said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I was backing up a friend. He looked me in the eye on multiple occassions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true. So, it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend, but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, really baseball fans. It doesn’t feel great being lied to like that and I’m disappointed in the way it all went down.”
Rodgers, who said the fate of the restaurant partnership he has with Braun was “yet to be determined,” didn’t directly answer whether he still considered Braun a friend. He did say “the thing that probably hurts the most” was that someone he trusted did this, which, in our experience, doesn’t make for the best trait in a business partner or friend.
Which makes Rodgers’ tone on Friday a particularly appropriate one.