NFL Fines Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers for Breaching COVID-19 Protocols

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
November 9, 2021 Updated: November 10, 2021

The NFL has fined star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for COVID-19 protocol violations.

After wrapping up its investigation on Tuesday evening, the NFL notified the Green Bay Packers and Rodgers of their financial penalties—$300,000 and $14,650 respectively—according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, who noted in a statement on Twitter that Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard was also hit with a $14,650 fine for attending a Halloween party without wearing a mask.

The probe came after Rodgers, 37, tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus last week, after claiming in August that he was “immunized” against the virus.

Rodgers, three-time Most Valuable NFL Player, claimed in an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Nov. 5 that he was told by a league doctor that people who take a vaccine for COVID-19 will not catch or spread the disease.

“One of the main docs said it’s impossible for a vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID,” he said. “We know now that information is totally false.”

He confirmed during his television appearance that he is not vaccinated against COVID-19, explaining that he is allergic to an ingredient in the mRNA Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and is wary of taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, citing documented past cases of blood clots that prompted federal regulatory agencies to temporarily pause administration of the shots earlier this year.

NFL found in its investigation, which included video review, that both Rodgers and Lazard failed to consistently wear face masks inside the team’s facilities, and attended a Halloween party maskless—violating protocol that requires masks for players not vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Packers were also warned that additional violations of COVID-19 protocol could result in change of draft order or loss of draft picks, the Washington Post reported.

On Monday, insurance giant State Farm said in a statement that it supports Rodgers’s “personal point of view,” and that Rodgers had “been a great ambassador for our company for much of the past decade.”

However, Michigan-based ad tracking and consulting company Apex Marketing Group found that Rodgers featured in just 1.5 percent of 400 State Farm television advertisements aired on Sunday through 8 p.m. ET, down from more than 20 percent two Sundays prior.

Rodgers was also dropped by Prevea Health over the weekend, after being aligned with the company for nine years.

“We respect the League’s findings and we recognize the importance of adherence to the COVID protocols to keep our team and organization safe and healthy,” Packers team president Mark Murphy told ESPN in a statement. “We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols.”

Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.