Americans split on whether pro athletes need to be vaccinated

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Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, pictured during a game against the Washington Football Team, on December 8, 2019.

Following a recent scandal involving Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Americans are mixed on whether professional athletes should be required get vaccinated against COVID-19, with 47 percent opposing and 44 percent supporting the policy.

When it comes to Rodgers — who tested positive for COVID-19 and was accused of giving the impression he had received a COVID-19 vaccine when he had not — more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say their view of Rodgers as a role model has not changed, while 37 percent say they think of him as less of a role model.

“A Pro Bowler on the field and apparently still a winner with the fans, Aaron Rodgers is judged by the ultimate referees who appear to say don’t extend penalties off the field,” said Tim Malloy, a polling analyst for Quinnipiac University Poll, which conducted the survey of 1,378 U.S. adults from November 11 – 15.

After a COVID-19 test came back positive, Rodgers was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on November 3, 2021 and missed 10 days per the league’s COVID-19 policies for unvaccinated players.

In a preseason press conference, Rodgers responded, “Yes, I’m immunized” when asked if he had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Rodgers allegedly had not received a vaccination, but instead, received homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor.

Because he was unvaccinated, Rodgers committed multiple violations of the National Football League’s COVID protocols for unvaccinated players, including socializing with teammates without a mask and appearing unmasked at several post-game press conferences.

A plurality, 42 percent, say companies such as State Farm Insurance should continue to use Aaron Rodgers to endorse their products; 30 percent say they should not; and 27 percent did not offer an opinion.

On the NFL’s handling of the Aaron Rodgers situation, 23 percent say the NFL has been too easy; 18 percent say the NFL has been too tough; 20 percent say the NFL has been fair; and the largest percentage, 39 percent, say they don’t know.

The poll has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.