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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers might’ve saved his hardest fastball of the season for a target who isn’t one of the Green Bay Packers' receivers.
Rodgers did not hold back a day after Hub Arkush, a veteran Chicago sportswriter and among the Associated Press’ 50 voters for the NFL’s MVP award, declared he would not cast his vote for him because of off-field reasons. In a local radio interview, Arkush cited Rodgers being a “bad guy” and “biggest jerk in the league” as reasons why he wouldn’t vote him MVP.
“I think he’s a bum,” Rodgers said. “I think he’s an absolute bum. He doesn’t know me. I don’t know who he is. Nobody knew who he was, probably, until yesterday’s comments. I mean, and I listened to the comments, but to say he had his mind made up in the summertime, in the offseason, that I have zero chance of winning MVP, in my opinion should exclude future votes.
“His problem isn’t with me being a bad guy or the biggest jerk in the league – because he doesn’t know me. Doesn’t know me. Doesn’t know anything about me. I’ve never met him, I’ve never had lunch with him, I’ve never had an interview with him. His problem is I’m not vaccinated.”
In the interview, Arkush said Rodgers “lied” about being vaccinated and potentially hurt his team by contracting COVID-19 and missing a game at the Kansas City Chiefs. Most of Arkush’s reasoning boiled down to a personal attack against the quarterback.
Arkush walked back the comments in a radio appearance on Chicago’s 670-AM “The Score” earlier Wednesday, saying it was “a big mistake” on his part. While Arkush stood by his reasoning for not casting his vote, the veteran sportswriter said he “screwed up” by publicly speaking about it.
Whether Rodgers had heard of Arkush’s acknowledgement when he participated in Wednesday afternoon’s weekly Zoom call with reporters is uncertain.
“If he wants to go on a crusade,” Rodgers said, “and collude and come up with an extra letter to put on the award just for this season, and make it the Most Valuable Vaccinated Player, then he should do that. But he’s a bum. And I’m not going to waste any extra time thinking about that stuff. He has no idea who I am. He’s never talked to me in his life, but it’s unfortunate that those sentiments – it’s surprising that he would even say that, to be honest.”
Rodgers has positioned himself as the prohibitive MVP favorite entering the season’s final week. He has thrown for 3,977 yards, 35 touchdowns and four interceptions, a 111.1 passer rating that comfortably leads the NFL. Rodgers has separated himself from what was a crowded MVP field in his past six games, closing his season with 18 touchdowns and no interceptions in that stretch.
He’s also the quarterback for the NFL’s only 13-win team.
Asked if his polarizing off-field comments regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and weekly candor on the "Pat McAfee Show" should be considered in MVP voting, Rodgers unsurprisingly gave a very different view. Rodgers said he does the show to give people a glimpse of who he is off the field, in the hope of showing that he isn’t the NFL’s biggest jerk.
“I think the MVP should be about the most valuable player on the team. A lot of times it goes to the best player on the best team, and we’re the best team. So if voters want to use the offseason, or don’t like my stance being unvaccinated, that’s their prerogative. I don’t think it’s right, but that’s their prerogative.”
This article originally appeared on Packers News: Aaron Rodgers rips NFL MVP voter Hub Arkush: 'He's an absolute bum'