Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said in a broadcast interview Tuesday that he stands by the comments he made last week about his vaccination status but that he also takes “full responsibility” for misleading statements he made previously about being unvaccinated for the coronavirus.

Rodgers said during his regular appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he expects to be cleared to rejoin the Packers on Saturday under the NFL’s coronavirus protocols for unvaccinated players and play in Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Rodgers said he is “feeling really good” and believes there is only a “small possibility” that he will not play this weekend.

“I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading,” Rodgers said. “And to anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.”

Later Tuesday, the NFL fined the Packers $300,000 and issued $16,500 fines to Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard for violations of league and players’ union protocols. ESPN first reported the fines.

But Rodgers did not back down from the remarks that he made on the same show Friday, when he vigorously defended his unvaccinated status.

“I stand by what I said and the reasons why I made the decision,” Rodgers, the NFL’s reigning MVP, said Tuesday.


Rodgers struck a less combative tone in this interview.

“Look, I shared an opinion that is polarizing,” he said. “I get it. And I misled some people about my status, which I take full responsibility [for] those comments. But in the end, I have to stay true to who I am and what I’m about. And I stand behind the things that I said, and I have a ton of empathy for people who have been going through the worst part of this pandemic.”

He also said he does not want to remain a symbol for either side in the national debate about vaccinations.

“I’m an athlete,” Rodgers said. “I’m not an activist. So I’m going to get back to doing what I do best, and that’s playing ball. I shared my opinions. It wasn’t one that was come to frivolously. It involved a lot of study and what I felt like was in my best interests for my body. But further comments, I’m going to keep between myself and my doctors.”

Rodgers tested positive for the virus last week and is in a 10-day isolation, under the protocols developed by the league and the NFL Players Association, after being told in August that he was considered unvaccinated. Rodgers had sought to be classified as the equivalent of vaccinated under the protocols based on a homeopathic medicine treatment, according to people familiar with the matter. Rodgers said at a news conference in August that he was “immunized” and would not judge unvaccinated NFL players.

The public comments made Friday and in August by Rodgers are not the focus of the review now being conducted by the NFL and the NFLPA, according to a person familiar with the matter, and thus would not factor into any potential discipline imposed upon Rodgers or the team. The Packers and Rodgers would be subject to potential fines if protocol violations involving mask-wearing requirements and other issues are officially established via the review by the NFL and NFLPA. Rodgers is not expected to be suspended.


“I know there’s been a lot of comments said,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “I understand that this issue in general is very charging to a lot of people because we’re talking about public health, and I totally respect that. I made a decision that was in the best interests based on consulting with my doctors, and I understand that not everybody is going to understand that, necessarily. But I respect everybody’s opinion.”

The Packers lost last Sunday at Kansas City with second-year quarterback Jordan Love filling in for Rodgers. Under the protocols, Rodgers is eligible to rejoin team activities Saturday if he is symptom-free and is cleared by doctors.

“I’m feeling really good,” he said. “I’m definitely fortunate to have the type of care that I’ve been able to have. I know it’s special and it’s helped me get through this better. I also know that it hasn’t been like that for everybody.”

He said he has been at his home in Green Bay, Wis., throughout his isolation period. The Packers organization has been “really supportive,” Rodgers said, adding that it’s “hard to watch” games on TV and he doesn’t want to miss any others.

“Hate is not going to bring us out of this pandemic,” Rodgers said. “It’s going to be connecting and love. I’m not going to hate on anybody that has said things about me. I believe everybody is entitled to their opinion, and I always will believe that. I think that it’s a time to move forward for me and talk about football. I’m thankful, again, to be on the other side of this, to be healthy and coming out of this.”

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