Rodgers trying to dance his way out of trouble

by Gary Shelton on November 6, 2021

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

And so, in the eternal dance of the deceitful, the question burns. How are you to feel about Aaron Rodgers and his loose association with the truth?

Are you outraged that he might have lied (he said he didn't, but at the time, his pants were on fire)? Are you prepared to fiercely fight his battle for him? Or, perhaps, like me, you are simply amused.

Hey, in a career as a sports journalist, I've been lied to plenty, about players who were or were not hurt, about strategies, about respect for the next opponent even when none exists. We've seen overaged Little Leaguers. We've seen politicians bend the truth into pretzels. We heard speeches and double-speak.

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And now, there is Rodgers, dancing around in a metaphorical pocket, trying to spin his way out of his own prevarications. The question isn't whether he lied, but if anyone is really surprised.

Of course, you know the story. When asked if he was vaccinated back in August, he said "yeah, I'm immunized."

He wasn't. Now he's admitted it, and he's out for a game, and he's trying mightily to erase his tracks. What we have is a quarterback in full scramble mode.

Now, Rodgers somehow says he wasn't lying earlier, and he followed it up with grand justification highlighted by attacks on media, science and doctors. But Rodgers answered a question about vaccination as "yeah, I'm immunized." If that's not a lie, it's great misdirection.

The cold fact is that, no, Rodger isn't immunized. You can eat tree bark and take horse dewormer and talk about "bodily immunity" all you want, and you can claim you are immunized because of it. But according to the league and the union, what Rodgers did was not being immunized. So explain to me again how that isn't lying.

Then there is this. Rodgers says a doctor who represented the NFL told him it was impossible to contract or spread COVID if you were vaccinated. An NFL statement suggests that's not the truth, either. At this rate, Rodgers' nose may no longer fit inside his facemask.

Again, Rodgers is nimble. And a lot of fans will be gleeful to blame the media or the science. Rodgers challenged doctors (he's out of his depth). He used the buzzwords of "woke" and "cancel culture" and "witch hunt." He even accused the media of lying because, I assume, it criticized him.

The thing is, this is going to affect Rodgers' reputation more even than his silly protest of the Packers' management did earlier. Yes, some will defend his right not to get immunized (not exactly the point). But to the rest of us, he's just another guy playing word games to disguise the truth.

Look, Rodgers' earlier snit made him hard enough to stomach. Evidently, he was upset that the Packers drafted another quarterback two years ago. (I forget; Was Brett Favre upset when the Packers drafted Rodgers?")

One of the funniest lines Rodgers said on his podcast was that "if anyone had followed up" on the original question, he would have made himself more clear. Wow. Why in blazes would anyone have to follow up? At a quarterback's press conference, the flow belongs to him. He can talk as long as he wants, and explain things as well as he wants.

This is all great comedy, of course. There are other NFL players who are not vaccinated and say so. Or they simply say it's no one's business. I have no problem with either. But there is a pandemic going on. And Rodgers has seemed to violate the rules in every direction.

But all of the skepticism should not be pointed just at Rodgers. The league itself was aware of Rodgers' medical records. They could have acted before he kept going to press conferences without a mask. The Packers certainly knew. And they acted like it was no big deal, like Rodgers had a sore wrist and nothing more.

The lesson here? Some players will lie because it's convenient. Some media people will nod and write down what he said. And one more person believes you do not deserve the truth.

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