John “JJ” Misiewicz
With vaccinations being pushed from every area of our society, the question of the integrity of results is a major concern. How can we know for sure that a person is actually vaccinated when there is easy accessibility to fake vaccine cards, heavy rules and social norms about the privacy of medical records, and a significant stigma around the identifier “unvaccinated,” giving people ample motivation to lie? These questions entered the sports world recently when it was found out that Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been lying about his vaccine status for the entire season and was caught after he tested positive for Covid-19.
Rodgers had previously said to the media that he was “immunized” from the virus in August, which wasn’t questioned any further. After the news broke this past week, Rodgers went on “The Pat McAfee Show” on SiriusXM and explained that he took Ivermectin, a treatment popularized by famous podcaster, comedian, and announcer Joe Rogan. Rodgers claims this built up his immune system to create a defense against the virus. In the same interview, Rodgers would point out that he was allergic to an ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and was concerned about the possible side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Rodgers apparently decided that the risks of the vaccines were worse for him than getting COVID. Ivermectin has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for the Covid-19 virus. In fact, nothing has been approved as a substitute for the vaccines by the FDA, especially under the rules of the NFL. After this appearance on the show, he garnered lots of criticism from the public. But the main concern is ramifications from the NFL, and they aren’t quite letting Rodgers off the hook on this occasion.
Although the NFL doesn’t require the vaccine, laws from state and city governments around the U.S. make it practically impossible for players to play games without the vaccine or regular tests for the virus. If a player does test positive, they are subject to being on the league’s reserve/Covid-19 list and are required to leave the team for the next 10 days. Rodgers missed the Packer’s week nine matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, which the Packers lost 13-7. This past week, he was able to play against the Seattle Seahawks, a game in which the Packers won 17-0. Rodgers was a little out of sorts in that game, likely a result of the 10-day break. Rodgers went 23-37 for 292 yards and no touchdowns and threw an interception. Rodgers has also been fined $14,650 for violating the protocols, and the Packers have been fined $300,000. What’s next in the coming days and weeks, nobody is sure about. Whether Rodgers gets the vaccine or not is unknown at the moment.
As for now, the Packers are one of the top teams in the NFC through Week 10. But, if the Packers want to bring home another Super Bowl, it starts and ends with Rodgers. So hopefully, for the Packers and their fans, Rodgers doesn’t test positive again, or else 2021 will end like many a season before for Green Bay, a promising regular season only to be dashed by playoff failures.
Contact JJ at firstname.lastname@example.org