Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has spoken publicly for the first time since the suspension of the Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun, and Rodgers pulled no punches in speaking of someone he'd once defended.
"It doesn't feel good to be lied to like that, and I'm disappointed at how it all went down," Rodgers said, indicating that Braun lied directly to him about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. He further professed to being "shocked" and "disappointed" by the revelations, which earned Braun a suspension without pay from baseball for the rest of the season.
"I was shocked, I really was, just like many of you were," Rodgers told the media assembled. "I was backing up a friend. He looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true. So, it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend, but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, really baseball fans."
Rodgers had gone all-in on supporting Braun, even "betting" a fan on Twitter a year's paycheck that Braun was clean. "MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free," he wrote.
Indeed. Braun and Rodgers remain business partners in the 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill in Milwaukee. Rodgers didn't want to speculate on the future of the business.
"That's yet to be determined," he said. "I don't regret backing a friend up. obviously in hindsight a more measured approach would obviously be a better course of action. I definitely believe in forgiveness and moving forward. He has a tough task in front of him moving forward with his career, on and off the field. As far as the business goes, right now I'm focused on football and I have people who can help me with those issues."
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