Nov 5 (Reuters) – Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who tested positive for COVID-19 this week, insisted he did not lie when he told reporters in August that he was “immunized” in response to a question about whether he had taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Packers placed Rodgers on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday and as a result he will miss Sunday’s game against the defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. read more
After the news broke, a video clip of Rodgers saying, “Yeah, I’ve been immunized” in response to a question about whether he had been vaccinated went viral, leading some to say he had lied about his vaccine status.
“First of all, I didn’t lie in the initial press conference,” he told “The Pat McAfee Show” on YouTube on Friday.
He said his plan at the time was to say he had been “immunized” and added that he had undergone a treatment designed to raise his immunity in the hopes the NFL would deem him vaccinated, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
“Had there been a follow-up to my statement that I had been immunized, I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther. I am somebody who is a critical thinker.’ You guys know me, I march to the beat of my own drum.
“I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some sort of woke culture or crazed individuals who say you have to do something.”
Rodgers claimed he has an allergy to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer (PFE.N)-BioNTech (22UAy.DE) and Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and so he declined to take those.
He did not take the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) vaccine due to concerns about side effects, he said.
Under league regulations, players who are unvaccinated and test positive for the novel coronavirus must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.
Rodgers said he has been following all of the health and safety protocols for unvaccinated players. The NFL on Wednesday said the league was looking in to whether the Packers had indeed done so.
Rodgers has led Green Bay to the top of the NFC North with seven wins and one loss, putting up 17 touchdowns with 1,894 passing yards.
Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles
Editing by Matthew Lewis
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