Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the latest star athlete to call out Aaron Rodgers. In a piece titled, "Aaron Rodgers Didn't Just Lie," Abdul-Jabbar wrote that the star quarterback's comments about the COVID-19 vaccine brought "back to life the old stereotype of the big dumb jock."
"That’s a sacred trust not to be abused. Unfortunately, the pandemic has revealed several athletes who abuse their position and responsibility, not just to the public, but to other professional athletes’ livelihood," Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
"That latest egregious abuser is Green Bay quarterback and three-time MVP Aaron Rodgers who directly and deliberately lied to fans and the public when he assured everyone he was “immunized,” knowing that word would be interpreted as his being vaccinated. He wasn’t vaccinated. And he got COVID-19. And he went maskless during in-person press conferences, which not only violated NFL rules, but put everyone else’s health at risk."
Rodgers began to draw criticism from fans, sportswriters and fellow athletes late last week after he tested positive for COVID-19. At first, it appeared that Rodgers would simply miss a game or two and then return to the Green Bay Packers. However, things turn for the worse when ESPN, NBC Sports and several other media outlets reported that Rodgers was not vaccinated against the virus. Instead, Rodgers told reporters that he was "immunized" when asked if he was vaccinated against COVID-19. Making matters worse, ESPN reports that Rodgers failed to abide by the NFL's COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players. After days of backlash, Rodgers appeared on The Pat McAfee Show to offer his side of the story.
"I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now so before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I'd like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies out there," Rodger told McAfee.
"I'm not some sort of anti-vax flat earther. I'm somebody who's a critical thinker. I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy. Not to have to acquiecse to some woke culture or some crazed group of individuals."
Rodgers went on to explain that he had consulted the likes of Joe Rogan and others while conducting background research into the COVID-19 vaccines that were available to him. Ultimately, he learned he was allergic to an ingredient in one vaccine and didn't feel comfortable taking the others.
"I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long term immunization protocol to protect myself & I'm very proud of the research that went into that," he said.
However, Rodgers didn't stop there. He also attempted to question those who have urged him to get vaccinated against the virus.
"I go back to these two questions for the woke mob. If the vaccine is so great, how come people are still getting Covid and spreading Covid and unfortunately dying from Covid? If the vax is safe, how come the manufacturers of the vaccine have full immunity?" Rodgers asked.
Rodgers' questions have been answered by several medical professionals and reporters over the last year. Abdul-Jabbar even attempted to answer them in his latest piece.
"Statistics from many sources conclude that around 97 percent of those being hospitalized or who have died in the past several months are unvaccinated. The CDC found that the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die than those vaccinated. If he thinks that’s a lie, what credible evidence does he have? None," Abdul-Jabbar fired back.
In the end, Abdul-Jabbar feels that the actions of Rodgers will impact the influence that fellow star athletes like Steph Curry and LeBron James will have on the public.
"Every time a pro athlete like Kyrie Irving (anti-vax), Henry Ruggs (speeding at 156 mph, crashing, and killing someone), Evander Kane (forging vaccination card), or Aaron Rodgers does or says something stupid, the public trust in athletes lowers and sponsors might consider avoiding players in favor of actors, pop stars, or social media influencers. Steph Curry and LeBron James don’t have to worry, but some up-and-comers might not get the same opportunities," Abdul-Jabbar continued.
"Rodgers’ ignorance regarding the science of immunology brings back to life the old stereotype of the big dumb jock. His utter lack of even the most basic knowledge and logic is shocking."