Star NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers gave the decision on whether or not to be vaccinated a lot of thought.
Big mistake. In the United States of Mob Rule, thinking isn’t allowed — unless it conforms to approved guidelines. Rodgers’ decision not to get jabbed wouldn’t be controversial in another age — a more thoughtful and polite age in which thinking about an issue before opening your mouth was an admired trait. But today, the “woke mob,” as he calls them, have racked him and are turning the screws trying to get him to conform.
Rodgers believed — rightly or wrongly — that there were homeopathic alternatives to vaccinations that wouldn’t expose him to ingredients in the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines to which he was allergic. This fact was immaterial to the mob, who only saw the opportunity to knock down an icon. Small details like the possibility that Rodgers might have suffered a potentially deadly reaction to the vaccines were ignored.
Rodgers also made the mistake of trying to finesse his way out of revealing his vaccine status — something that is no one’s business. He claimed at a press conference last summer that he had been “immunized” even though he had not gotten a shot. The NFL star said he would have explained if anyone had bothered to ask him a follow-up question about the steps he was taking to safeguard his own personal health, but alternatives to vaccinations do not interest the media.
"I'm not an anti-vaxx, flat-earther.. I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long term immunization protocol to protect myself & I'm very proud of the research that went into that" ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/FDMmI5rZmO
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021
But despite the tsunami of anger and hate directed at Rodgers, one corporation decided to buck the tide and stick with the quarterback — after a fashion. Rodgers has been a major endorser of State Farm Insurance for many years and has appeared in dozens of commercials, including the “discount double-check” series of highly successful ads.
The company issued a statement that was unusual only because it acknowledged that there were “different viewpoints” on the subject of vaccinations.
“Aaron Rodgers has been a great ambassador for our company for much of the past decade,” a State Farm spokesperson told USA Today. “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. We recognize our customers, employees, agents and brand ambassadors come from all walks of life, with differing viewpoints on many issues. Our mission at State Farm is to support safer, stronger communities. To that end, we encourage vaccinations, but respect everyone’s right to make a choice based on their personal circumstances.”
But the company’s verbal support didn’t translate to its on-air commitment showing Rodgers in their commercials.
Apex Marketing, which tracks the advertising business, found that the proportion of State Farm ads featuring Aaron Rodgers dropped from 25 percent on the previous two NFL Sundays to just 1.5 percent this past Sunday.
This does not appear to have been a coincidence.
“It appears that State Farm has reduced the number of national spots, dropping off considerably as of Friday,” Apex president Eric Smallwood told Action Network. “Our monitoring indicates that this wasn’t a planned reduction and more reactionary because there wasn’t any new significant ads put in its place.”
While the mob was in a full-throated howl and every Twitter feed was raised against him, State Farm didn’t panic and banish Rodgers to the outer darkness like some other sponsors. They lowered his profile. Once the controversy has died down or the mob has latched on to another target, they will almost certainly raise his visibility again.
The reason is simple: State Farm makes money with Aaron Rodgers as a spokesperson. Duh.
Most Americans respect Rodgers’ thinking on the subject even if they don’t agree with it. That’s why his popularity won’t be damaged by the media firestorm raging around him today. There’s enough misinformation flying around from the supposed purveyors of “truth” that makes any criticism of Rodgers ring hollow indeed.