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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Report: NFL execs angry with league’s handling of Aaron Rodgers situation

Aaron Rodgers after a play

The NFL announced fines for both Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this week after the quarterback violated COVID-19 protocols, and a lot of people around league reportedly feel the punishment did not fit the crime.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports was told by sources that NFL executives — including some within the league office — were unhappy that the disciplinary action against Rodgers and the Packers was not more harsh. Rodgers was fined $14,650 and the Packers were fined $300,000.

“Everyone’s reaction was pretty much the same. It’s a joke,” one high-ranking team official told La Canfora. “It’s the league taking care of (Packers team president) Mark Murphy. It’s not really a surprise, but it’s total BS.”

Even some within the league office reportedly believed Rodgers and the Packers received preferential treatment. At least one coach agreed.

“You think they would let us off like that if (that team’s quarterback) did that?” the coach asked. “No (expletive) way.”

The issue for many is that Rodgers admittedly violated COVID protocols on multiple occasions by not wearing a mask. However, since he was not disciplined before, he was not treated as a repeat offender. The NFL told Rodgers and the Packers that future violations could result in harsher punishment and potentially the loss of a draft pick.

The public learned last week that Rodgers was unvaccinated despite him giving off the perception that he was vaccinated. A misleading answer the quarterback gave to a question in August about his vaccination status led to the belief that he was vaccinated (more here). He also misled people about his vaccination status by not wearing masks in multiple situations, such as in press conferences, which were violations of the league’s protocol for players who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Rodgers apologized on Tuesday for misleading people about his status.

Photo: Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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