Football Broadcast Places COVID Theater On Center Stage

Aaron Rodgers broke the franchise record for touchdown passes for his iconic Green Bay Packers Christmas. Still, his post-game interview for some viewers overshadowed his achievement during the game. Rodgers threw three touchdowns during the Packers’ 24-22 win over the Cleveland Browns, pushing his career total to 445 touchdown passes and breaking the previous mark held by Brett Favre.

Rodgers was interviewed on the field immediately after Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. The cameras were interviewed, with the two standing well over the six feet required for COVID “social distancing.” As soon as the interview was completed, the two embraced in a quick hug, and it is unclear whether Andrews or Rodgers believed they were still on the camera.

Some football fans gave mixed reactions to the hug shortly after that.

Radio personality Colin Dunlap said that national television shows an interview at a distance of ten feet followed by a hug after the interview is over, and “we wonder why the country is confused as hell.”

Former television sports anchor Justin Beasley said of the hug, “It’s all a show, people.”

In November, Rodgers tested positive for COVID and was placed on the NFL reserve/COVID-19 inactive list for ten days, which was the minimum time he had to remain off the active team roster. He received significant media scrutiny and criticism at the time for not being vaccinated against the virus.

Earlier in the season, when he was asked, he never said that he was vaccinated but vaguely referred to his status as being “immunized.” He later said that he decided against the vaccine partly because of an allergy to one of the ingredients in the mRNA vaccines.

Like podcaster Joe Rogan, Rodgers was also hammered for his decision to seek treatments when the virus infected him. He took monoclonal antibody treatments and vitamins C and D, and zinc.

During an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show earlier in the week, Rodgers expressed his frustration with the NFL’s COVID policies. He said that there had not been any discussions about actual health and that he did not understand why the league and society at large have not talked about “legitimate treatment options.”