Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers raised more than a few eyebrows with his praise for Serbian tennis sensation Novak Djokovic.
In an Instagram story posted from the U.S. Open on Sunday, Rodgers said he could check off an item on his “bucket list” after “being able to witness the greatness of @djokernole in person at #arthureashestadium.”
But that wasn’t the shocking part.
Neither was the “goat” emoji he placed next to “#novaxdjokovic” on the posted photo.
What caught social media’s attention was the Moderna logo, makers of a COVID vaccine, crossed out below the goat with a big red line.
“I’m not gonna touch this with a 10 foot pole,” said Jets reporter Harrison Glaser on X. “You guys discuss.”
This is Aaron Rodgers most recent post on Instagram from when he was at the US Open today
I’m not gonna touch this with a 10 foot pole
You guys discuss: pic.twitter.com/wwZWkjZkoq
— Harrison Glaser (@NYJetsTFMedia) September 4, 2023
As BizPac Review reported, Djokovic made international headlines after he took a stand against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations — a move that got him deported from Australia.
At the time, Djokovic had won the Australian Open a record nine times, and he was looking forward to making it an even ten when he was booted out of Oz.
“I respect the court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said at the time. “I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love.”
One year later, having captured the hearts of every person who views vaccine mandates as an Orwellian overreach, Djokovic made a triumphant return to the country, capturing his 10th Australian Open Men’s Singles and his 22nd Grand Slam titles and cementing himself as the world’s top tennis player.
— BizPac Review (@BIZPACReview) January 31, 2023
In 2021, Rodgers, then playing for the Green Bay Packers, stated at an August press conference, “Yeah, I’ve been immunized,” when asked if he’d received the COVID vaccine, but he stressed that it should be a personal decision.
“There’s a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements, owners who have made statements,” he said. “There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys. It’s an interesting issue that I think we’re going to see played out the entire season.”
— BizPac Review (@BIZPACReview) August 30, 2021
Months later, in November, Rodgers admitted that he had, in fact, not taken the vaccine after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The “woke mob” promptly descended on the NFL star.
“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 think I would like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself,” Rodgers said during an interview on “The Pat McAfee Show.”
“It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie,” he explained. “It was the truth. … I have an allergy to an ingredient that’s in the mRNA vaccines. … And so I looked into and talked, again, to a lot of medical individuals and professionals and found that there was an immunization protocol that I could go to, to best protect myself and my teammates.”
“And it was a long-term protocol that involved multiple months,” he added. “I’m very proud of the research that went into that and the individuals that I met with and we felt like it was what was best for me.”
The NFL, he said, had known all of this and that he’d unsuccessfully tried to lobby the league into accepting the “protocol” as a form of vaccination.
For those remarks, the NFL called Rodgers a liar.
— BizPac Review (@BIZPACReview) November 6, 2021
“No doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants communicated with the player,” an NFL spokesperson told Profootballtalk.com. “If they had, they certainly would have never said anything like that.”
So, “discuss” Rodgers’ Sunday Instagram post, X certainly did.
“Legend,” stated one user. “Both of them.”
“Even more of a reason to love the guy!” exclaimed another.
“[A]n athlete with substance, a backbone and a willingness to not cower to the mob acknowledging another,” said a third. “Greatness recognizes greatness.”
Legend. Both of them. https://t.co/K8nYWImunj
— Grant (@GJC54839) September 4, 2023
Even more of a reason to love the guy!
— jfra88 (@jimmyfra88) September 4, 2023
I know, an athlete with substance, a backbone and a willingness to not cower to the mob acknowleding another. Greatness recognizes greatness.
— Tim Karem (@TimKarem) September 4, 2023
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