Dan Benbow

'Choke artist' Aaron Rodgers chokes again

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Aaron Rodgers is widely acknowledged to be one of the best regular season quarterbacks in NFL history. The three-time MVP routinely posts impressive stat lines and is on course to break numerous records if he stays healthy. He is certain to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

But he hasn't always dealt well with adversity. Control is important to Rodgers, and when his preternatural cool is challenged—when his team is behind or playing tough opponents in the playoffs—he often chokes.

Rodgers' recent public relations disaster is no different.

Rather than fess up after being caught in a lie about his vaccination status, Rodgers doubled down with misinformation and logical fallacies that would make his Berkeley professors weep.

In last week's now-infamous interview with Pat McAfee, Rodgers began with a transparently-scripted ad hominem attack on the "woke mob" and then played the victim with a reference to the "final nail" being put in his "cancel culture casket."

He then somehow choked out the words that he would "set the record straight" while doing the exact opposite.

He claimed that he was allergic to the mRNA vaccines without disclosing the nature of the allergy or noting that severe reactions to vaccines are extremely rare—the CDC estimates that "2 to 5" people in every million experience anaphylaxis from the vaccines.

Despite the trove of CDC data showing the Johnson & Johnson shot to be safe, he claimed he hadn't gotten the J & J because of anecdotal "evidence" (friends who had gotten sick from the Johnson & Johnson).

He played the parenting card, saying that he was reluctant to get the Johnson & Johnson shot because he wanted to have children, though there is no evidence that vaccinations negatively impact fertility.

He defended his statement to a reporter in August ("Yeah, I've been immunized") who had asked if he was vaccinated, finessing a simple question with a deceptive and ambiguous answer


He said he was getting treatment advice from Joe Rogan, a podcaster not exactly known for medical literacy.

He tried to create the impression that he had had a rigorous alternative treatment protocol, but there's zero evidence that alternative treatments work and the drug he cited, ivermectin, is a cattle de-wormer which has not been proven to protect people from COVID.

Worst of all, he defended his selfish decisions to lie about his vaccination status, to not wear a mask while speaking to reporters who thought he was vaccinated, to jeopardize his teammates by not wearing a mask on the sidelines at games, by misquoting Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

In Aaron Rodgers' world, he's a martyr, comparable to a Black activist who was spit on, stabbed, and ultimately murdered in his quest to gain civil rights for millions of oppressed people.

Add another record to Rodgers' career: issuing the most loathsome example of false equivalence ever uttered by an overpaidprima donna athlete.