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3 Nov, 2021 17:32

The lying game? NFL great Aaron Rodgers contracts Covid-19 as reports question whether he misled about being vaccinated

The lying game? NFL great Aaron Rodgers contracts Covid-19 as reports question whether he misled about being vaccinated

Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers has ignited a firestorm in the US after the Green Bay Packers star was ruled out of action after contracting Covid-19 amid claims from NFL insiders that he misled people about being vaccinated.

It was reported on Wednesday that Rodgers, 37, had tested positive for the virus and will be unavailable to play in Sunday's high profile fixture against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Subsequent reporting has revealed that Rodgers was unvaccinated, despite an NFL drive to ensure that as many players as possible were compelled to receive the jab, along with harsh penalties and mandates for players who refuse a vaccination.

This comes after Rodgers told the media in August that he was "immunized" against Covid-19, which many took as confirmation that he had opted to receive a vaccine - though speculation now exists which states that Rodgers may have been referring to him having antibodies from a previous Covid-19 infection. 

"You know, there's a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements, owners who have made statements," Rodgers said prior to the start of the NFL season when asked if he had been vaccinated.

"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.

"It's going to be interesting to see how things work moving forward," he added. "Obviously there could be some issues with vaccinated people only testing every couple weeks and then non-vaccinated testing every day."

Per ESPN, Rodgers asked the NFL to be permitted to take an "alternate treatment" instead of one of the approved vaccines and still be considered as a vaccinated individual - a request which was denied by the NFL.

The same publication also quoted sources which state that Rodgers follows the correct procedures while in the team facility but has regularly been unmasked when speaking to the media. By contrast, the Packers have arranged for unvaccinated players to speak to the media by Zoom.

NFL players are strongly encouraged to receive a vaccination, thought the NFL players' union (NFLPA) fought to ensure that players could not be forced to receive the jab. 

However, all high-level coaches within the sport were required to receive a vaccination per league rules with at least one NFL coach, Rick Dennison of the Minnesota Vikings, losing his job as a result of vaccine refusal. 

If reporting which suggests that Rodgers may have misled people about his vaccine status are accurate - and this has not yet been confirmed as true - then he would have avoided a range of measures designed to inhibit the spread of the virus within NFL teams, such as unvaccinated players being mandated to wear masks in the team facility and undergoing daily testing, as well as being free from social distancing guidelines. 

Rodgers, though, appears to have at least given the impression that he was vaccinated - and since the news of his positive test has filtered out, several photographs have been called into question which show the veteran quarterback unmasked in situations which expressly prohibit it, seemingly making him liable for an avalanche of fines from league officials. 

Also on rt.com Is the NFL creating a problem for itself in its drive to vaccinate players?