Bock’s Score: Vax Scratch

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

In this period of a devastating pandemic and public health catastrophe, we are fortunate to have Aaron Rodgers and Kyrie Irving to put everything in perspective.

Vaccines to battle COVID-19 are non-starters for these two great athletes. Let the smarty-pants doctors and scientists with their fancy medical degrees preach vaccinations. Rodgers and Irving know better.

When he was asked before the NFL season if he had been vaccinated, Rodgers replied with a perfectly straight face that he was “immunized.’’ Translated, that meant “not exactly,’’ and to prove his point, Rodgers snubbed NFL rules about wearing a mask when in social settings like press conferences or Halloween parties.

The virus was unconcerned with the quarterback’s shenanigans and nailed him with a positive test leading to a 10-day quarantine. And by the way, he’s been fined $14,650 by those up-tight NFL suits on Park Avenue for toying with their COVID rules and regulations.

Now why would Rodgers play word games like that? “I am somebody who is a critical thinker,’’ he explained. “I march to the beat of my own drum.’’

Then, just to prove how smart he is, he tossed around catchy words like “woke’’ and “cancel culture’’ during the flap that followed his non-vaccination flap. If the experts say the vaccine will battle COVID, Rodgers thinks he knows better and just to prove he does, he used a homeopathic treatment in the off-season that he believed boosted his immune system and made the vaccines unnecessary. The NFL rejected this reasoning.

Rodgers is a three-time NFL MVP and yet he always feels victimized. He was offended when the Packers drafted rookie quarterback Jordan Love because after 17 years in the league, they thought Rodgers might be in the home stretch of his career and maybe they needed protection at the position. It was an understandable move but Rodgers’ feelings were hurt and he floated retirement rumors over the summer.

While all this drama was going on, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were assembling but with one significant absentee. Irving was AWOL and he wasn’t coming back until he was welcomed without benefit of any fancy vaccine.

Irving did not weave any inoculated fairy tale. He was more straightforward about the matter, saying he wasn’t vaccinated and he had no plans to be vaccinated.

Take that!

Now Irving has traveled strange roads before. There was the time he suggested that the earth might really be flat after all. If that were true, though, both he and Rodgers might step right off the edge of it.



About the Author

Hal Bock

Hal Bock is a contributor with NY Sports Day. He has covered sports for 40 years at The Associated Press including 30 World Series, 30 Super Bowls and 11 Olympics. He is the author of 14 books including most recently The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty and Banned Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans. He has written scores of magazine articles and served as Journalist In Residence at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus where he also served on the selection committee for the George Polk Awards.

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