As it turns out, the argument that Damar Hamlin secretly died and was replaced by a double on Sunday wasn’t the craziest shit I heard today.
Thanks to Jimmy Traina of SI.com, who listened to Tuesday’s musings from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers so that others (like me) wouldn’t have to, Rodgers suggested at one point that the negative coverage he has received in recent months flows directly from Big Pharma.
Specifically, Rodgers tied negativity directed to him to media sponsored by the three providers of the COVID vaccine, given that Rodgers refused to get one — and then lied about it.
“If you take the right sound bite from the right thing and it’s a station that may or may not have in the past been brought to you by Pfizer they gotta make sure their villain gets cast in the correct light,” Rodgers told Pat McAfee and A.J. Hawk on Tuesday. “And whether or not they’re sponsored by Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, whatever it might be, when you go up against some of those powers that be, put yourself in the crosshairs, they’re gonna paint you a certain way. And that’s what the media did to me a couple of years ago. That’s fine. That’s their prerogative. That’s what they wanted to do.”
If Big Pharma was giving out big (or small) checks for calling out Rodgers for playing a Greg Brady “exact words” game with reporters so that he could enjoy the benefits of being vaccinated in 2021 without actually being vaccinated, mine must have gotten lost in the mail. For me, the criticism was about the decision to lie about his status, and then to show up in the press room without a mask, in direct violation of league rules.
The rules were the rules. The NFL and the NFL Players Association negotiated them. If Rodgers didn’t like the rules, he shouldn’t have played. Instead, he defied them until he tested positive.
I didn’t like what he did. I didn’t appreciate the blatant dishonesty. I didn’t agree with the juvenile game of “gotcha” he played with reporters by saying “yeah, I’ve been immunized” when asked whether he’d gotten the vaccine.
For people who are really smart (like Rodgers), there’s an obligation to be intellectually honest. In 2021, Rodgers used his smarts in a failed effort to outsmart others.
I don’t need a check from Big Pharma to say that. I’ll do it for free. He lied. He knows he lied. And now he’s trying to obfuscate his lie by pushing a stupid-ass conspiracy theory that anyone who speaks ill of him isn’t doing it because they genuinely believe he lied but because they’re getting paid to do it.