The father of Aaron Rodgers has come out in "proud" support of the Green Bay Packers quarterback's controversial decision to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine and slammed "haters" accusing his son of misleading the public.
Ed Rodgers told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday that he supports the athlete's choice to pursue alternative forms of treatment in lieu of getting vaccinated.
"I think some of the people that are haters, I think if they listen to the show, I think he stated things very eloquently and very directly and succinctly," Ed Rodgers said. "I don't know. I'm not sure why people think he misled anybody.
Aaron Rodgers continued to make headlines when he tested positive for COVID-19 last week and was forced to enter a 10-day quarantine, the minimum amount of time an unvaccinated player is asked to quarantine, per NFL rules.
"I think he tried to probably treat himself naturally, like a lot of folks do. And there's a lot of great natural things out there, which help mitigate the virus. So I'm proud of him. I'm proud that he went that route," the elder Rodgers added.
The dad said he believes the backlash generated by his son's appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" last week has been overblown. Ed Rodgers also stated he feels "there's a lot of things that aren't so good about the vaccine."
Aaron Rodgers explained during an appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" that he is allergic to an unspecified ingredient in the two mRNA vaccines and has reservations about the safety of the third coronavirus jab.
"He's a grown man. He's making his own decisions," Ed Rodgers said, agree with his son that "people should have a choice on what they do with their body."
"I don't really want to stick my foot in a lot of stuff," continued the elder Rodgers, who is a chiropractor in Chico, California. "I'm proud of him. I trust his judgment and decisions. I think that's what I would've done," Rodgers reiterated. "I really think he's done great, and I hope he continues to stand strong."
In response to the NFL player expressing vaccine hesitancy, State Farm announced it stands by Arron Rodgers and choses to respect "everyone's right to make a choice based on their personal circumstances."
USA TODAY accused Rodgers of "lies and misinformation" in an article the outlet posted on Monday, before sharing the supportive response by the advertiser.
A company spokeswoman said in a press statement that Rodgers had been a "great ambassador" for State Farm for nearly a decade now:
"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. We recognize our customers, employees, agents and brand ambassadors come from all walks of life, with differing viewpoints on many issues. 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."