Although it remains to be seen whether there is actually any real bad blood between Taylor Swift‘s alleged romantic interest Travis Kelce and New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the injured anti-vaxxer is supposedly interested in debating Kansas City’s star tight end about COVID-19 vaccines. At least that’s what he indicated during his Tuesday interview with Pat McAfee.
A week after dubbing Kelce “Mr. Pfizer” because he is the face of a campaign urging people to get an updated COVID-19 shot along with their flu vaccine, Rodgers suggested he’d like to team with Robert Kennedy Jr. to debate Kelce and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Known for trolling the media and enjoying “people getting absolutely triggered” by his remarks, Rodgers probably has no intention of debating Dr. Fauci or Kelce and just wants to shift the narrative back toward himself.
But Kelce correctly pointed out the hypocrisy of Rodgers calling him Mr. Pfizer because he draws his paycheck from a member of pharmaceutical royalty. The Jets are owned by Woody Johnson, whose great-grandfather Robert Wood Johnson founded Johnson & Johnson, one of the companies that produced a COVID-19 vaccine.“Who knew I’d get into the vaxx war with Aaron Rodgers, man?” Kelce said last week. “Mr. Pfizer vs. the Johnson & Johnson family over there, man.”
While suggesting that he and Kennedy Jr. should engage in a war of words with Kelce and Dr. Fauci about the “propaganda” surrounding COVID-19 and the vaccine, Rodgers also pushed back against the notion that he’s a Johnson & Johnson man just because that’s ultimately the source of his salary.
“I don’t play for the Johnson & Johnson corporation, I play for the New York Jets,” Rodgers told McAfee. “So I mean, you know, I made a tiny little joke about a guy shilling for a, you know, potentially — it’s not potentially, but it’s a you know corrupt company and everybody kind of loses their minds over it.”
While it’s typically not a good idea to call your boss’s company corrupt, it’s hard to tell if Rodgers actually believes that. Because, ultimately, it’s hard to tell if he really means anything that comes out of his mouth or if he’s instead baiting the media into playing a game he seems to enjoy more than football.
“Instead of just ignoring Rodgers, the media breathlessly reports on everything he says because they love the pageviews,” according to Sports Illustrated. “So here’s what it’s all about: Rodgers loves to play the victim, but he loves the attention the media gives him. The media loves to act outraged by Rodgers, but they love the traffic that Rodgers provides. Lather, rinse, repeat.”
This article was featured in the InsideHook newsletter. Sign up now.