Aaron Rodgers’ “Woke” Joke
If you’re not part of the sports realm, then please bear with me. Aaron Rodgers is an incredible professional footballer for the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin. If you are a cheese head, then you probably don’t need me to tell you that. Here is what happened.
Back in August when the NFL season was beginning, several reporters asked Aaron if he was vaccinated against Covid. He cautiously said that he had been “immunized.” During one of those interviews, Aaron used his hands to make air-quotes around the word, and then added, “There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys. There are guys that’ve been vaccinated that have contracted Covid. It’s an interesting issue that I think we’re going to see played out the entire season.” No one could have predicted that Rodgers would be pulled from the field for one of the team’s biggest games against the Kansas City Chiefs when he tested positive for Covid-19.
The 37-year-old athlete continued, “And at the time, my plan was to say that I have been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie. It was the truth. But had there been a follow-up to my statement that I’ve been immunized, I would have responded with this: I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-Earther. I am somebody who’s a critical thinker.’”
Okay, this man, this “critical thinker,” surely knows better than medical professionals, just as I know more about football than any quarterback or coach in the league because I watch games on TV. When Rodgers said he was taking medical advice from Joe Rogan, the talk show host who said coronavirus is a hoax, I almost fell out of my chair.
Aaron Rodgers claimed he was immunized by an alternative, homeopathic treatment he believed would qualify him as “fully vaccinated.” The National Football League denied his claim because real doctors said his protocol would NOT immunize any human being against Covid-19. Much like drinking a good cup of coffee in the morning, Rodgers’ treatments might have made him feel good but they offered no health benefit.
But let’s get to a headline from NBC Sports. Aaron Rodgers claims he’s a victim of “the woke mob” and “cancel culture.” Okay, now he’s pressed my button. According to one of my favorite sources, the UrbanDictionary.com, “woke” means deluded or fake awareness but more traditional sources claim it means “an alert to injustice in society, especially racism.” If you are asleep, you are now awake. If you are woke, you are aware. So, who is this “woke mob” Mr. Rodgers speaks of?
The media is wickedly persistent and should you lie during a recorded interview on TV your words will come back to bite you. Aaron betrayed his team members because he led them to believe he was protecting them as well as himself. But he wasn’t. What if a trainer with a compromised immune system contracted Covid and died? What would Aaron Rodgers say to his family? In today’s world, such a possibility is more than hypothetical.
When an official makes a bad call on the field, a veteran like Aaron Rodgers might challenge that the rule was not followed or was ill-applied to the play. Aaron wants a “level-playing-field.” Well, all Americans also want a level playing field as we take our best shot at protecting ourselves and surviving this pandemic. When someone takes away that chance for survival, they don’t need to be “canceled.” They need to be ostracized and charged a penalty. Missing one game is not a great sacrifice for Rodgers, but if the Packers lose to the Chiefs he will be shunned by his own fans. The Packers are currently #1 in their conference with 7 wins and only 1 loss. On the other hand, Kansas City is having a terrible year with a 4 and 4 record. A loss to the Chiefs would be amazingly embarrassing to the Packers.
I have my own disagreements with the way the NFL is run, especially the way some of their rules will bend for certain players. There have been too many domestic violence cases that have marred past seasons. Concussion conventions are a necessary evil in such a violent sport, but players contracting Covid when we have a vaccine is nothing short of dumb. The league will lose money if its top players are sidelined because they believed a well-paid but misinformed personal medicine man. It’s not a joke and woke has nothing to do with it, it’s on-the-job safety. Rodgers is misinformed.
Let’s get real here. Rodgers’ four-year, $134 million deal will pay him a base salary of $14.7 million in 2022. That number goes up to $25 million each of the next two seasons, and an objective analysis leads to a definite conclusion that Aaron is worth it. Green Bay is one of the rare franchises that is wholly owned by that small city in Wisconsin. Sure, they attract fans from Milwaukee, their TV market, but this team is Green Bay’s main industry. When it snows, the citizens of Green Bay, without pay, will come to the stadium and shovel the snow off their beloved Lambeau Field, known at the “frozen tundra.”
I am hopeful that Aaron Rodgers won’t die of Covid, but all involved deserve better, they deserve the truth. Had Rodgers said back in August that he was not vaccinated but was undergoing an alternative treatment, then he would have some credibility now, but he didn’t. His fans, team members and the NFL could have questioned Aaron about his treatment so they could decide if works for them, but that didn’t happen.
I’ve heard the line, “Well, I think I had it back in March, so I am probably immunized.” Really? Without an adequate antibody test, a person simply cannot know. In a profession where players breathe directly into the facemasks of their co-workers, Covid testing should be strict and reliable. The NFL survived very well last season with the protocols they put in place, why would they walk away from them now? Aaron Rodgers is just another anti-vaxxer who claims the vaccine will hurt him, or take away his mojo, or perhaps make him less effective in bed. But let’s focus on the real story here. This is not about a “woke mob” or “cancel culture.” It’s just another stupid diversion by giving a sports-playing millionaire too much of a platform for their non-sports “wisdom.”
Curt Schilling was one of the greatest baseball pitchers ever, but he came under fire and was ejected from the 2021 Hall of Fame for defending participants in the storming of the US Capitol on January 6th. So, listen up all you professional egos out there. To be a role model, you can’t disrupt our democracy, you can’t put people at risk and you can’t drive a car at 156 mph while intoxicated. What you say and do matters. You can cause people to be killed.
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