Vaccination hypocrisy: Aaron Rodgers vs. Kyrie Irving

In the current time that we are living in due to the pandemic, the emphasis on being vaccinated is heightened. Athletes in several different sports are now faced with much more strict Covid-19 protocols for their seasons if they are unvaccinated.

However, in the most recent weeks, we have seen a level of criticism for unvaccinated players differ from one another.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for the virus. The issue that arises around Rodgers is that no one is cool when you wind up lying to them, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. Rodgers told a little white lie about being vaccinated.

Well, he tried to be disingenuous about telling a non-truth.

It was discovered that Rodgers is unvaccinated. After previously saying he was “immunized” against Covid-19, it came out that Rodgers was not vaccinated. Whether or not Rodgers was lying or just playing word semantics, he was simply untruthful about his vaccination status.

Criticism has rained down Rodgers heavily, though it is nothing compared to what NBA star Kyrie Irving has received from league circles. Several media members of the NBA family have come out and ripped the Brooklyn Nets star on not being vaccinated. The criticism has been harsh.

“His lack of regard for Black lives doesn’t deserve acceptance, nor does his lack of regard for the health and welfare of the NBA community,” said Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Abdul Jabbar, an NBA Hall of Famer, took a strong take against Irving for his stance on the vaccine. While Irving says he wants to be the voice of the voiceless, at least he was open and honest about not getting the vaccine.

The media and others have essentially vilified Irving for his stance and have made him the face of unvaccinated players. Irving was open and honest, far in comparison to Rodgers, who used word trickery to deceive people.

When asked in the summer if he was vaccinated, Rodgers said he was immunized. That turned out to be nothing but con artist talk. Rodgers gave the impression that he was vaccinated and did not follow any of the protocols set in place for unvaccinated players.

His untruthfulness could have potentially put a lot of staff and teammates within the Packers organization, as well as opposing players at risk of possible infection. Rodgers is not being dragged through the same level of criticism mud as Irving. Could race be part of the reason why Rodgers is not getting the amount of vitriol that Irving has received?

Yes, that’s a strong possibility. Remember all the criticism and hate that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton received when it was learned that he was not vaccinated? It was widely viewed that was one of the main reasons why he was released from the New England Patriots before the NFL season even began.

Rodgers, right or wrong, has gotten some flak for his deceitful ways.

To a point, most of the media criticism focused on Irving being untruthful of his vaccine status. It was more focused on the fact that he misled others rather than his actual stance on being unvaccinated. Irving, while his standpoint could be unclear and a bit murky at times, the criticism he received felt more about his stance of being unvaccinated.

Rodgers is unvaccinated as are NFL quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins. Those two quarterbacks were honest about their status, but never received the backlash that Irving received.

Rodgers? He did not even have to lie about his status. If he went out and told the truth, Rodgers would still be pitching State Farm insurance ideas. As the record goes, Rodgers has been getting a pass and has had his reputation go relatively unblemished by the media.

On the flip side of this debate, Irving has been under fire all season.

Criticism came from The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill “In retrospect, his disingenuous comments hint at a specific kind of self-centeredness; he seemed to believe he was smarter than everyone else in the room,” just added more logs to Irving’s self-induced fire.

Irving and Rodgers have both made attempts to defend their respective stances. However, this just further made it more difficult to understand or accept. Whether the focus of criticism is based on race or level of talent in their respective sports, Irving has been vilified more so than Rodgers.

That is the truth.

After being forced to miss a game, Rodgers was back on the field with his teammates, leading the Packers to a 17-0 win against the Seattle Seahawks. Rodgers has an opportunity to quiet the noise. Irving, on the other hand, will continue to receive criticism until he goes against his stance or if the city of New York changes its mandate.

Featured Image Caption: File photo. Kyrie Irving scored 13 points in Team LeBron’s 148-145 2018 NBA All-Star Game win against Team Stephen. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline