Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a question about the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols: “Are we doing all this based on science?”
Rodgers appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, as he does each week, and the conversation turned to the league’s efforts to complete the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic. Green Bay’s QB compared some of the NFL’s efforts to “big brother spying on you all the time.”
“They’re watching everything, and if there’s a lapse in protocol, you can get fined,” Rodgers said. He continued: “Obviously, you’ve seen teams get fined already. … There’s one-person tables in the lunch room, there’s plexiglass between our lockers.”
The comments come as the United States has seen record numbers of COVID-19 cases, hitting more than 100,000 new cases per day every day this week. Green Bay itself has the highest concentration of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to the NFLPA’s official website. And the Wisconsin Department of Health has taken to social media to try to encourage people to practice the right things to slow the spread.
The main lament Rodgers made to McAafee was the double standards he sees in the protocols.
“I’m just wondering, what is this based on?” Rodgers said. “I just think there’s some double standards. You can dap up a guy after the game, but you can’t eat at the same lunch table as a teammate.”
Much of the NFL’s evidence has shown that COVID-19 is more likely to spread in prolonged exposure in close quarters than in anything that happens on the field. The league said recently that its experts hadn’t found any evidence of COVID-19 being transferred on the field of play. The early-season outbreak in New England was attributed, in part, to potential viral transfer over a meal.
This isn’t the first time that Rodgers has questioned COVID-19 protocols. In May, speaking with Wisconsin’s WISN, the quarterback spoke about freedom and about economic loss.
“I think there are a lot of questions now that it’s more of a house arrest to find a cure with people wondering what exactly that means as far as the future of the country and the freedoms we are allowed to have at this point,” Rodgers told WISN. “… I think the important thing to think about, though which is more important than [sports] is the state of the country and the fact that we have 36-plus million people on unemployment right now. You have rising poverty levels to go along with the unemployment.”
Rodgers’ answer failed to acknowledge the human cost in sickness and fatality of the coronavirus. COVID-19 has hit the Packers recently, with running back AJ Dillon testing positive for the virus ahead of Green Bay’s Week 9 game, also forcing Packers RB Jamaal Williams and LB Kamal Martin onto the COVID-19/reserve list as high-risk close contacts, as well.
As of Wednesday morning, the U.S. has had more than 10.26 million recorded COVID-19 cases and 239,695 of the world’s 1.274 million deaths attributed to the virus.