State Farm insurance is continuing its financial partnership with vaccine-rejecting NFL star Aaron Rodgers, praising the Green Bay Packers quarterback as a “great ambassador” for the company for nearly a decade.
But the insurance giant is still encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, even though their ambassador evaded questions about his vaccination status, spread misinformation about the disease and has tested positive for COVID-19.
“We don’t support some of the statements that he has made, but we respect his right to have his own personal point of view,” said a statement issued by a company spokesperson to USA Today.
Nevertheless, “our mission at State Farm is to support safer, stronger communities. To that end, we encourage vaccinations — but respect everyone’s right to make a choice based on their personal circumstances.”
Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 last week. He admitted Friday on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he did not get the vaccine ― even though he’d told reporters in August that he had been “immunized, ― because he feared the shot would make him sterile. There is no medical evidence for that.
He also said he was following the medical advice of comedian and former “Fear Factor” host Joe Rogan, who also tested positive for COVID-19 and said he was using the deworming medication ivermectin to treat it — which is also not supported by science.
Rodgers railed that he’s being being “canceled” and accused the media of conducting a “witch hunt” to find out which players are vaccinated.
He nevertheless insisted he was not an “anti-vax flat-earther.”
Social media erupted over State Farm’s decision, with many critics playing off its advertising catchphrase that the company is there “like a good neighbor.”
The Prevea Health group ended its partnership with Rodgers on Saturday after his comments. The quarterback had been a spokesperson for the company since 2012.
“Prevea Health remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers and communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Prevea stated. “This includes encouraging and helping all eligible populations to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent the virus from further significantly impacting lives and livelihoods.”
After he tested positive, Rodgers was barred from Green Bay’s game on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Like all NFL unvaccinated players who test positive, he must isolate for a total of 10 days and test negative before he can return to play.