The Green Bay Packers will face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday without Aaron Rodgers.
The three-time MVP and Packers star quarterback said in August he'd been "immunized" against COVID-19. Turns out that consisted of not a vaccine but homeopathic treatment and medicines that scientists say don't treat coronavirus, the quarterback said during a Friday interview on the "Pat McAfee Show" in which he cited Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy for not following protocols.
Since then, many have lined up to criticize Rodgers' evasiveness and reasoning behind not receiving the vaccine, especially as he conducted himself around the media as a vaccinated player. A Wisconsin healthcare company ended its partnership with Rodgers on Saturday, and the NFL has launched an investigation despite not yet disciplining Rodgers, who can't return to the team until next Saturday at the earliest.
The criticism continued Sunday during NFL pregame shows. Here is a roundup of who said what about Rodgers:
Terry Bradshaw, Fox – Hall of Fame QB
"Let me give Aaron Rodgers some advice. It'd been nice if he'd just come to the Naval Academy and learned how to be honest. Learn not to lie. Because that's what you did, Aaron, you lied to everyone. … Unfortunately, we've got players that only think about themselves and I'm extremely disappointed in Aaron Rodgers."
Jimmy Johnson, Fox – Hall of Fame coach
"I respect his attitude toward being an individual. But this is a team game. In all honesty, I'm disappointed in his play on words for his explanation. I'm disappointed in some of his selfish actions."
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Michael Strahan, Fox – Hall of Fame DE
"There are times to quote Martin Luther King, and this was not one of them."
Howie Long, Fox – Hall of Fame DE
"I agree with Aaron when he says 'What I do with my body is a personal decision.' But it ceases to be a personal decision when you take part in being part of a football team in a building with coaches, players, trainers, equipment managers, and you run the risk of taking something home to your wife, your children, your grandchildren. But also for a football standpoint, this team is sitting at 7-1 and they're certainly vying for the only bye in the playoffs in the first round … putting all of that in jeopardy, and putting your team in jeopardy, that, to me, is selfish."
Jonathan Jones, CBS Sports
"I believe that Aaron Rodgers has full autonomy over his body and I'm not going to argue the merits of what he said … inherent when you say 'I'm a critical thinker,' 'I'm a free thinker,' is the implication that those of us who did get vaccinated are not critical thinkers or that we're not free thinkers. That you're on a higher plane of intelligence than I could even conceive. I took issue with that. But then I also took issue with him saying, 'Hey, I followed all of the protocols everywhere. They are draconian, but I follow them everywhere. In the weight room, in the locker room.' The one place he didn't do it was in the public eye.
"And that's when he quotes MLK and says 'I don't need to follow unjust laws' but he followed all those unjust laws everywhere else that cameras weren't beaming that he was unvaccinated to everyone out there. What wound up happening was: Aaron Rodgers got cute with his wording, he got caught, and he's embarrassed and he wants it to be everybody's fault except his."
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.