Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shot down the rumor that he would boycott the Super Bowl should Green Bay make it that far this season.
The rumor in question originated with CBS Sports’ Boomer Esiason. He reported last week during his show “Boomer and Gio” that a source heard from Rodgers’ “direct circle” that the Packers quarterback was considering boycotting the Super Bowl because of the NFL’s COVID protocols.
Rodgers addressed the topic during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday afternoon and called it “so ridiculously stupid.”
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“I like to have a good sense of humor and joke around and stuff, but that topic that was brought up is so ridiculously stupid it’s even past the point where I don’t even joke about that,” Rodgers told McAfee. “Do I have an issue with some of the protocols? Of course. But I would never even joke about this. It’s the dumbest f—ing thing, I wouldn’t even joke about it.”
It turns out that the joke was on Esiason and his cohost Gregg Giannotti. The duo acknowledged shortly after their report that they believe that the information sent to them was a part of a prank, as they announced on Twitter.
By that point, the rumor had made the rounds, so the damage was already done.
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Normally, Rodgers wouldn’t care that much about the rumors. However, this one irked him because of how “ridiculously off base” it is.
“I’ve given a lot less f—s the last couple years but one thing I do give a major f— about is ridiculous narratives about me,” Rodgers said. “Especially ones that are so ridiculously off base. This one was pure comedy for me. But when pure comedy turns into slightly more reputable news outlets who then mention that to where it becomes even a bigger story, I just felt like it was time to end that.”
Still, Rodgers had “some fun” shooting down the rumor. He and his backups — Jordan Love and Kurt Benkert — engaged in a lengthy Twitter thread during which Benkert and Love joked about being the source that leaked the story to Esiason.
This isn’t the first time that Rodgers has had a spat with a media outlet or personality this year. He was criticized for saying that he was “immunized” when asked if he was vaccinated against COVID-19, and he also got into it with Hub Arkush, who claimed he wouldn’t vote Rodgers for MVP because “he’s the biggest jerk in the league.”
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That said, Rodgers has reason to take issue with Esiason’s actions, as he apparently did not fact-check the apparent prank thoroughly before revealing it on air. As a result, Rodgers wanted to make sure that everyone knew members of his “inner circle” would reveal anything of that nature.
“No one in my ‘inner circle’ is talking to the media,” Rodgers said. “No one that I trust and care about and have conversations with is talking to any media member, is gonna leak anything.”
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