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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers on being outspoken: ‘I do not need to apologize for being myself’

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers used a wide-ranging, 28-minute interview with an ESPN reporter this week to pontificate on a bunch of matters, from his now-infamous “immunized” remark to his perception that he is being silenced.

He additionally insisted that every one of his feedback this season have come from the unadulterated model of himself.

“I do not need to apologize for being myself,” he instructed reporter Kevin Van Valkenburg. “I simply need to be myself.”

Rodgers spoke with Van Valkenburg by cellphone on Thursday, two days earlier than the Packers’ NFC divisional spherical playoff matchup with the 49ers. He stated he granted the reporter’s interview request as a result of he thought Van Valkenburg needed to jot down a “hit piece” (Van Valkenburg stated he submitted inquiries to the Packers beforehand) and Rodgers needed to counteract that. The primary glimpse into the tone of the interview was introduced within the story’s opening paragraphs as Rodgers’ “Atlas Shrugged” second was examined.

MORE: Timeline of Rodgers vaccine drama, from ‘immunized’ to ‘COVID toe’

Rodgers pulled the Ayn Rand novel from his bookshelf throughout a Week 17 look on ESPN’s “Monday Evening Soccer” Manningcast, after the brothers Manning requested Rodgers what he was studying. The mere reality the guide made an look on the present was sufficient to anger individuals, and Rodgers wasted no time opining on their reactions. He instructed Van Valkenburg he has by no means learn the guide.

MORE: Up to date NFL playoff bracket forward of 2022 divisional spherical

“It is a guide. I can learn one thing and never instantly have it overtake my private ideologies,” Rodgers stated. “And that is the issue with society, is every thing is triggering and offensive. It is wild.”

Rodgers repeatedly performed his biggest hits about issues being triggering and the way he and different skeptics are being “silenced” and “censored” relating to COVID-19 and vaccines. He additionally criticized President Joe Biden for his “pandemic of the unvaccinated” remark in December. He did all this whereas giving an interview to the self-proclaimed Worldwide Chief in Sports activities.

MORE: Rodgers takes goal at Brady with ‘Deflategate’ feedback

“Are they censoring terrorists or pedophiles? Criminals who’ve Twitter profiles? No, they’re censoring individuals, they usually’re shadow-banning individuals who have dissenting opinions about vaccines,” Rodgers stated. “Whenever you censor and make pariahs out of anyone who questions what you imagine in or what the mainstream narrative is, that does not make any sense.”

Rodgers’ stance on COVID and vaccines have gotten him into sizzling water. In August, he was requested about his vaccination standing; he replied that he was “immunized” towards the virus. He instructed Van Valkenburg he knew the query was coming and had lengthy been calculating how he’d reply.

BENDER: 49ers vs. Packers odds, choose, predictions for 2022 divisional spherical recreation

“I had a plan stepping into for that query to be requested,” Rodgers stated. “It was a pseudo witch hunt occurring — who was vaccinated, who wasn’t vaccinated. I used to be in a multimonth dialog that become an enchantment course of with the NFL at the moment, and my enchantment hinged on that precise assertion [‘immunized’]. So what I stated was, No. 1, factually true. I went by a multi-immunization course of. And on the finish of that, I do not know what you’d name it, I might name it immunized.”

Rodgers, who routinely violated NFL protocols by not carrying a masks in postgame interviews, examined optimistic for COVID-19 in early November. He needed to miss Inexperienced Bay’s loss at Kansas Metropolis in Week 9.

MORE: Packers anticipated to get WR Cobb again for matchup with 49ers

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