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As expected, Aaron Rodgers is playing a cutesy word game over whether he lied about being vaccinated. Unfortunately for Rodgers, his effort to say that he wasn’t lying when he created the clear impression in August that he’s vaccinated has collapsed like a house of cards in a bomb cyclone.
“I didn’t lie in the initial press conference,” Rodgers told Pat McAfee and A.J. Hawk on Friday. “At the time, my plan was to say that I’ve been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie. It was that truth. . . . Had there been a follow-up to my statement that I’ve been immunized, I would have responded with this. I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vaxx, flat-earther. I am somebody who’s a critical thinker. You guys know me. I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy, and the ability to make choices for your body. Not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something.”
As Myles Simmons astutely noted on Friday’s #PFTPM, there was a follow-up question during that initial press conference. The follow-up question was based on the clear impression that Rodgers is vaccinated. In responding to the question he did not point out that, no, he’s not vaccinated.
Here’s the first question he was asked on August 26: “Are you vaccinated and what’s your stance on vaccinations?”
“Yeah, I’ve been immunized,” he said. “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’ve made statements. There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not gonna judge those guys.”
Obviously, Rodgers created the clear impression that he was vaccinated. Why would he say that he won’t judge teammates who aren’t vaccinated if he isn’t vaccinated?
But then came the next question. The follow-up that prompted Rodgers to dig in deeper to his lie.
“Aaron,” the reporter said, “without getting into the personal choice thing about that, from a football perspective, you know, Kirk Cousins is talking about how he’s like in a hermetically-sealed box or something in the quarterback room. The Patriots appear frustrated with Cam Newton because he hasn’t. From a football and competitive standpoint, was that important, to make sure that you’re most likely going to be available? And I don’t know, maybe even from an example-setting standpoint?”
“No, I mean, no, it wasn’t about that at all,” Rodgers said in response. “I think I like to learn about everything that I’m doing. And you know there was a lot of research that even went into that. But, you know, there’s been, like I said, there’s been people that have tested positive. I think it’s only vaccinated people there. So you know it’s gonna be interesting to see how things work moving forward. Obviously, there could be some issues with vaccinated people only testing every couple weeks and vaccinated people testing every day. Last year, I felt like — I think I read something about this — I think it was more difficult to pull a guy out who might have tested positive on game day. I don’t think that’ll be the issue with somebody who’s not vaccinated. But you know it is interesting to see how things are played out. I think there’s been a lot of conversation around it. And just in talking with [NFLPA president] JC [Tretter], I think this is gonna continue to evolve as we get into the season.”
Everything about the question presumed that Rodgers is vaccinated, that his prior answer indicated that he is vaccinated. Rodgers answered the question without correcting the false impression. He therefore bolstered the false impression.
Now, he’s trying to claim that he won a shell game of exact words. But he didn’t. He lied. He knew that he lied. When he was asked a question based specifically on that lie, he didn’t correct the lie.
Sorry, but that’s the truth. He lied. And that needs to be remembered when assessing the credibility of every word that he uttered on Friday — and of anything he ever says again.
That’s not a result of the “woke mob” engaging in “cancel culture.” It’s the simple product of calling bullshit bullshit.