Aaron Rodgers was asked in late August by a member of the Packers media whether he was vaccinated.
In that moment, there were three truthful ways to answer:
Yes, I'm vaccinated (and, if he wanted to, here's why).
No, I'm not vaccinated (and, if he wanted to, here's why).
I believe that's a personal/medical decision, and I'm not going to answer.
The first answer is the truth for a reported 94% of NFL players. Different players arrived at that point via different beliefs. But most of them got there, and public health was the winner.
The second answer will lead to criticism. Rightfully so. But it is honest.
The third answer is generally considered a "no," but it's not a lie. It's the Kirk Cousins route. It's an easy route out, but there is no attempt at misdirection. You just aren't answering the question.
Rodgers answered the question as if he was saying yes, when really the answer is no. And that makes his vaccine lie particularly bad, as I talked about on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast. Rodgers reportedly tested positive and will miss this weekend's game against Kansas City as a result.
"Yeah, I've been immunized," Rodgers said a couple months ago. "There's guys on the team that haven't been vaccinated. I think it's a personal decision, I'm not gonna judge those guys."
Rodgers reportedly sought an alternative treatment to a vaccine in order to boost his immunity, per ESPN and other reports. The NFL said that didn't count and said he would be treated as an unvaccinated player.
You can attempt to parse his words from that August news conference to give him the benefit of the doubt. But the way he answered that question left those in attendance under the impression that he was vaccinated because that was exactly how his answer was framed.
He was directly asked if he was vaccinated and answered that he's been immunized.
It was an intentional misdirection. Don't you think, Matt LaFleur?
"It's a great question for Aaron," the Packers coach said. "I'm not going to comment on it."
According to multiple reports, Rodgers has been following protocols for unvaccinated players. Good. But he also has been doing some of his media sessions with reporters in person and without a mask. He was at a Halloween party dressed as John Wick unmasked.
Rodgers has been behaving like a vaccinated person for most of the public to see. That's disingenuous and put people at risk of getting COVID.
Why would he do this?
Probably because he thought he could get away with it. That's what people in power do. They lie and obscure because they're used to getting away with things and they assume that even if they're caught they can get out of it.
"Here's why. Rodgers abhors criticism. If he'd been open about his unvaccinated status, he would have heard about it from the media. And so the guy who is so sensitive that he's sensitive about being called sensitive chose to create the false impression that he's vaccinated, all because he didn't want anyone to call him out for not being vaccinated."
Indeed. Whatever it was Rodgers was trying to achieve in late August, he was sure trying to blur the lines between a lie and the truth.
Maybe he can spend the next 10 days doing his own research into the difference.