Sports

It’s time to hold Pat McAfee accountable for amplifying Aaron Rodgers’ fake news


If Pat McAfee is worth $120 million, then he has the responsibility to stop giving Aaron Rodgers a platform to spew nonsense.

If Pat McAfee is worth $120 million, then he has the responsibility to stop giving Aaron Rodgers a platform to spew nonsense.
Image: Getty Images

Question: Have you ever been out in public and seen a kid being a terror to anything and everything in sight, as the child ignores their parent’s pathetic pleas to stop?

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In those situations, as bad as that kid is, the parent is at fault. Kids will only do what you allow them to do, and in those situations, the child has learned that their parents are more than willing to let them wreak havoc.

Pat McAfee is that pathetic parent, and Aaron Rodgers is his stupid kid.

Earlier this week, Rodgers returned to “The Pat McAfee Show” – or as I like to call it, the scene of the crime – as it was the safe haven that Rodgers originally visited to destroy all the goodwill that he had accumulated over his amazing career by informing us that he lied to basically everyone about being vaccinated so that he could play, as we quickly realized that while he might be amazing at reading defenses, he definitely doesn’t read books.

“I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now,” Rodgers told McAfee last month. “So before my final nail gets put in my canceled-culture casket, I think I’d like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself right now.”

In that interview, Rodgers also claimed to be a “critical thinker” that “marches to the beat of his drum.”

Rodgers and Kyrie Irving are soulmates.

On Tuesday, Rodgers returned so that he and McAfee could do the thing that white men have always been allowed to do for centuries – go completely unchecked for their negative views and actions that affect others, while getting upset if anybody dares to hold them accountable, because, to them, they’re beyond reproach and above criticism.

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“What I don’t understand, though, it makes no sense to me to continue to spread this narrative that non-vaccinated players are more dangerous or these super-spreaders, which hasn’t been proven to be true,” Rodgers spewed. “I don’t understand this two-class system that exists in our league.”

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He then went on to say that science “is changing all the time,” as if he’s ever spent time in a lab outside of any class he might have been required to take at Cal.

“It doesn’t back it up,” Rodgers continued. “There’s not many unvaccinated guys left in the league but it’s obviously not a pandemic of the unvaxxed. … It doesn’t make sense to me we’re still punishing non-vaccinated.”

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For as stupid, dumb, and dangerous as Rodgers’ actions and words are, it doesn’t change the fact that people like him have always existed. The exasperation kicks in when people like McAfee allow and amplify this nonsense to be heard in the problematic vein of “we need to hear both sides,” when most of the time the other side doesn’t have anything of value to say.

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And on top of everything else, this conversation between two men with successful NFL careers occurred during a week in which The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones confirmed that the NFL is now the first pro sports league to adapt its COVID-19 protocols to align with the CDC’s new quarantine recommendations. This means that there is no testing requirement for asymptomatic players to be released from quarantine after five days, regardless of vax status. The system now hinges on the honesty of players like Rodgers and Cole Beasley reporting their symptoms if they test positive.

Thanks, CDC. You’re doing a great job.

(sarcasm font)

When McAfee reportedly signed a four-year, $120 million deal between his show and FanDuel, it meant two things. One, he’s ballin’. And two, the microscope he lives under has magnified by a thousand.

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Peter Parker once taught us that, “With great power comes great responsibility.” And no one is more responsible than the people that control the narrative. And as the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire, destroying countless plans over the holiday season and shattering the sports world, it’s time we take McAfee to task for repeatedly allowing Rodgers a platform to spread his willful ignorance.

In the proverbial debate about which is more important between the message and messenger, we often forget about the thing that’s imperative – the microphone. And in this case, Pat McAfee’s mic has allowed a flawed messenger to spread a dangerous message. It’s time to take out your AirPods and stop listening. Because the person who controls the microphone only becomes useless when they don’t have an audience to speak to.

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