NFL star Aaron Rodgers has laughed off a report that he would boycott the Super Bowl to protest against the COVID-19 rules if his first-place Green Bay Packers reach the title game.

The Packers quarterback described the suggestion as ‘fake news’ and the ‘dumbest f****** story ever,’ accompanied by emojis showing crying with laughter.

Rodgers has caused anger this season by claiming in August he was ‘immunized’, but later admitting he was not vaccinated and then catching COVID.

He was fined for putting other players and staff at risk, and lashed out against a ‘woke mob’ encouraging him to get vaccinated. He later apologized for his ‘misleading’ comments suggesting he was fully vaccinated. 

Earlier on Friday, former NFL star and New York City radio host Boomer Esiason shared on air a text from a ‘source’ who claimed Rodgers would stage a protest against the COVID rules, which Rodgers has publicly criticized.

Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback with the Green Bay Packers, on Friday laughed off a report that he was going to boycott the Super Bowl

Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback with the Green Bay Packers, on Friday laughed off a report that he was going to boycott the Super Bowl

Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback with the Green Bay Packers, on Friday laughed off a report that he was going to boycott the Super Bowl

Esiason’s co-host on WFAN radio, Gio Giannotti, read out the text sent to ‘Boom’. 

‘Boom, the Rodgers saga continues to get crazier and crazier.

‘I’ve been told by multiple people in Aaron’s direct circle that if the Packers make the Super Bowl, he will use the week leading up to the Super Bowl to prove a major point.

‘He will threaten the NFL by saying he won’t play in the big game, or next season, if they don’t eliminate some of the COVID-related rules.

‘One big one that upsets him the most is the testing of non-symptomatic players.’

The source said that Rodgers had already alerted the Packers’ backup quarterback, an inexperienced 23-year-old who made his debut in November when Rodgers tested positive.  

‘He’s told Jordan Love to be ready,’ Giannotti read, adding that the protest was designed to heap pressure on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

‘Like you said, he’s got to make it first, but Super Bowl week will be set on fire and send Goodell into a frenzy.’

Esiason, left, said that he trusted his source when asked by co-host Gio Giannotti whether the message could be believed

Esiason, left, said that he trusted his source when asked by co-host Gio Giannotti whether the message could be believed

Esiason, left, said that he trusted his source when asked by co-host Gio Giannotti whether the message could be believed

Giannotti asked Esiason whether his source was someone to be trusted.

‘I would, yes,’ Esiason said. 

Rodgers was swift to respond.

‘He’s told @jordan3love to be ready,’ Rodgers tweeted, with laughing emojis.

He then added a stream of hashtags, such as ‘fake news’, ‘dumbest f****** story ever’, ‘boycott fake news’ and, bizarrely, ‘boycott waterfalls’. 

The aging Rodgers has helped the Packers clinch the top seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record before their final game this weekend. It would be highly unlikely for the frontrunner for NFL MVP to boycott what could be his last Super Bowl.

At 38, only three quarterbacks are older – Tom Brady, 44, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; and 39-year-olds Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburg Steelers and Ryan Fitzpatrick with Washington.

In November, the NFL punished Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols, fining the unvaccinated quarterback $14,650 for breaking several rules.

The league gave a stiffer fine of $300,000 to the team for not enforcing the protocols, after news surfaced that the reigning MVP lied about his vaccination status for half of the season.

Rodgers, who is expected to make $21.5 million this year, tested positive for COVID-19 on November 3 after telling reporters during training camp in August that he was ‘immunized.’ 

Rodgers was fined for not wearing masks at press conferences, not wearing masks at all times around his teammates and for attending a team Halloween party even though unvaccinated players are not allowed to gather in groups.  

Aaron Rodgers, pictured on November 9 appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, was fined $14,650 - a barely-noticeable sum for someone who is on track to earn $21 million this year

Aaron Rodgers, pictured on November 9 appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, was fined $14,650 - a barely-noticeable sum for someone who is on track to earn $21 million this year

Aaron Rodgers, pictured on November 9 appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, was fined $14,650 – a barely-noticeable sum for someone who is on track to earn $21 million this year

Rodgers, the reigning MVP, quarantined at home but returned to the team one day before they faced the Seattle Seahawks

Rodgers, the reigning MVP, quarantined at home but returned to the team one day before they faced the Seattle Seahawks

Rodgers, the reigning MVP, quarantined at home but returned to the team one day before they faced the Seattle Seahawks

Aaron Rodgers, (pictured) who missed the Packers' game after it was revealed he tested positive for COVID and is unvaccinated

Aaron Rodgers, (pictured) who missed the Packers' game after it was revealed he tested positive for COVID and is unvaccinated

Aaron Rodgers, (pictured) who missed the Packers’ game after it was revealed he tested positive for COVID and is unvaccinated

Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard was also fined $14,650 after attending the Halloween bash. Lazard is not thought to have tested positive for COVID, but was told to quarantine after coming into contact with someone who did – potentially Rodgers – at the party. 

The Packers were hit with the fines following an investigation by the league, which determined the team should have disciplined Rodgers, who violated the protocol that bars unvaccinated players from gathering in groups of more than three outside the team’s facilities. 

The amount of Rodgers’ fine was determined by the COVID-19 protocol agreement reached between the players’ union and the league. 

The league’s investigation also discovered instances where Rodgers did not wear face coverings inside the Packers’ facility.

Rodgers is pictured in April 2019 with then-girlfriend Danica Patrick, a motor racing driver. He is now engaged to actress Shailene Woodley

Rodgers is pictured in April 2019 with then-girlfriend Danica Patrick, a motor racing driver. He is now engaged to actress Shailene Woodley

Rodgers is pictured in April 2019 with then-girlfriend Danica Patrick, a motor racing driver. He is now engaged to actress Shailene Woodley

There are several reasons Rodgers is unvaccinated, he said, including the likelihood that he and his fiancee, actress Shailene Woodley (left), would try to have children some day

There are several reasons Rodgers is unvaccinated, he said, including the likelihood that he and his fiancee, actress Shailene Woodley (left), would try to have children some day

There are several reasons Rodgers is unvaccinated, he said, including the likelihood that he and his fiancee, actress Shailene Woodley (left), would try to have children some day

The protocols for unvaccinated players remain largely the same as they were for everyone during the 2020 season. The difference now, since the release of several vaccines, is that players who have gotten the injections are free from certain testing, distancing, and mask protocols. Unvaccinated players, however, need to distance, wear masks, and get daily tests

The protocols for unvaccinated players remain largely the same as they were for everyone during the 2020 season. The difference now, since the release of several vaccines, is that players who have gotten the injections are free from certain testing, distancing, and mask protocols. Unvaccinated players, however, need to distance, wear masks, and get daily tests

The protocols for unvaccinated players remain largely the same as they were for everyone during the 2020 season. The difference now, since the release of several vaccines, is that players who have gotten the injections are free from certain testing, distancing, and mask protocols. Unvaccinated players, however, need to distance, wear masks, and get daily tests 

‘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 president Mark Murphy told ESPN. 

‘We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols.’

The probe started after Rodgers tested positive for the coronavirus, having lied to reporters about being vaccinated.

Rodgers, who is in the second year of a four-year contract extension worth $134 million, returned to the first-place team one day before they faced the Seattle Seahawks.

Rodgers sparked widespread anger with the revelation that he had lied about being vaccinated, and with accusations that he had put other people at risk. 

Rodgers then poured fuel on the fire, saying that he was a ‘victim’ of a ‘woke mob’ who criticized him for choosing not to get vaccinated.

Rodgers has maintained that he is not ‘anti-vax’ in general but that it wasn’t the right decision for him, adding how he believes he is in the ‘crosshairs of the woke mob right now.’ 

He later moderated his tone and apologized for his ‘misleading’ comments. 

‘I know this is a difficult time for so many people dealing with COVID. It’s been a tough two years for a lot of people,’ Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show. 

‘This has definitely been a time of a lot of reflection. I’ve had time to think about a lot of things in my silence here.’

He added: ‘I understand that people are suffering and that this has been a really difficult time for the last two years on so many people. 

‘I think we all know individuals who have lost their lives personally, people who have lost their business, their livelihoods. 

‘Their way of life has been altered completely, and I empathize with those things.

‘And I also know how sports can be such a connector and bring people together during times of adversity, and I do realize I am a role model to a lot of people, and so I just wanted to start out the show by acknowledging that I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. 

‘To anybody that felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.’ 

Source: dailymail

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