Advertisers are issuing responses in the wake of the controversy surrounding Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ comments on his positive COVID test and his refusal to take the COVID vaccine.
State Farm, for whom Rodgers has appeared in commercials for nearly a decade, issued a statement to NBC News on Monday about the comments made by the quarterback during a recent radio interview.
“We don’t support some of the statements that he has made, but we respect his right to have his own personal point of view,” the company said in a statement to NBC News. “We recognize our customers, employees, agents and brand ambassadors come from all walks to life, with differing viewpoints on many issues.”
Gina Morss-Fischer, a spokeswoman for the company, did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on whether State Farm would continue to run ads starring Rodgers.
In a recent interview on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers claimed to be allergic to an ingredient found in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines, and said he was hesitant to take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of previously-disclosed blood clotting issues that briefly caused the FDA to pause administration of that vaccine.
Distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was allowed to continue after that short delay.
Rodgers also said that he had received monoclonal antibodies and had taken ivermectin, the latter of which is not authorized or approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID in humans.
The controversy initially started when Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Green Bay’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Rodgers, who had told reporters he was “immunized” when asked prior to the season if he had received the COVID vaccine, has insisted that he has followed all of the league’s COVID guidelines for non-vaccinated players while on team property.
The NFL is investigating the situation, according to multiple reports.
Rodgers missed the game against Kansas City, and will be eligible to return to the team no earlier than Saturday under the league’s COVID guidelines, which say that unvaccinated players must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days after a positive test for the virus.
Several of Rodgers’ teammates have also tested positive for COVID in recent weeks, including wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. Adams was reinstated from the COVID list prior to Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs.