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Aaron Rodgers was already dealing with a turbulent offseason thanks to the Green Bay Packers drafting Jordan Love. Like pretty much everyone else in the country, he’s also facing frustrations and fear of the coronavirus pandemic.
While talking with reporters on Friday, the Packers quarterback was asked if he believes it’s safe to play football this season. His answer went to some interesting places.
From WISN’s Stephen Watson:
“Yeah that’s a good question. Like many of us, and I’ve seen a lot of comments on this, and obviously my story coming back from Peru before the country kind of went into a lockdown, I think we all were buying into the idea of quarantine to flatten the curve.
“I think there are a lot of questions now that it’s more of a house arrest to find a cure with people wondering what exactly that means as far as the future of the country and the freedoms we are allowed to have at this point.”
Rodgers goes to great pain to avoid voicing a real opinion there, but deeming self-isolation as “more of a house arrest” mirrors the language of many of those pushing to end stay-at-home mandates, including U.S. Attorney General William Barr and billionaire Elon Musk.
States across the country are controversially beginning to lift stay-at-home mandates despite the U.S. continuing to see thousands of new cases a day. That includes Rodgers’ adopted state of Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home mandate. The result was predictable: packed bars.
Rodgers went onto emphasize the importance of sports and note the country is facing several problems in relation to stay-at-home orders.
“I think sports has always been something that’s brought people together. I’m very hopeful that we can have a season. I think the important thing to think about, though which is more important than that is the state of the country and the fact that we have 36-plus million people on unemployment right now. You have rising poverty levels to go along with the unemployment. You have suicide hotline is up 8,000 percent.
“There’s a lot of problems going on in the country right now associated with the fear around this pandemic. I hope that we can use some common sense moving forward and make decisions that are going to be in the best interests of all people moving forward, and I hope that sports is a part of that at some point.”
The NFL has been firm so far in saying it plans to start its season on time in September, with teams even releasing the 2020 schedules in very loud fashion. However, the league has subtly made alterations that could allow it to weather a delay, as well as cancel or modify several offseason events to comply with stay-at-home guidelines.
If the threat of the coronavirus holds through the summer, you can imagine the discourse of such guidelines will only get louder among the league’s players.
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