The National Football League fined the Green Bay Packers $300,000 after star quarterback Aaron Rodgers “misled some people about” his COVID-19 vaccination status. Rodgers himself was fined $14,650, the same amount Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard was also fined. In its review, the NFL determined the two players did not follow league COVID-19 protocols when they attended a Halloween party, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Tuesday. Unvaccinated players are prohibited from gathering outside of the club facility in a group of more than three players.
The Packers were fined in part because they knew about the protocol violations at the Halloween party but didn’t discipline either player or inform the league.
“We respect the league’s findings and we recognize the importance of adherence to the COVID protocols to keep our team and organization safe and healthy,” Packer president Mark Murphy said in a Tuesday night statement, according to a tweet from ESPN NFL Nation Packers reporter Rob Demovsky. “We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols.”
Rodgers, who tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday, discussed his vaccination status on “The Pat McAfee Show” on YouTube and SiriusXM Tuesday. This was the second time he appeared on the show since testing positive.
“I shared an opinion that’s polarizing,” Rodgers said. “I get it. And I misled some people about my status, which I take full responsibility of, those comments. But in the end, I have to stay true to who I am and what I’m about. I stand behind the things that I said.”
When he was asked about his vaccination status in an Aug. 26 news conference, Rodgers replied by saying, “Yeah, I’m immunized.”
However on Friday, Rodgers said he sought alternative treatments rather than vaccination because he is allergic to an ingredient in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. He did not specify which ingredient. Rodgers also said he didn’t want the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after hearing of multiple people who’d had adverse reactions to it.
On Friday’s show, Rodgers also cited potential fertility issues from getting one of these three vaccines as a reason for avoiding vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no evidence COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems in men or women.