Aaron Reacts to Having to ‘Defend’ His NFL Retirement Plans After His Engagement to Shailene

Aaron Rodgers, Shailene Woodley
Photo: John Fisher/Cal Sport Media/Newscom & OConnor-Arroyo/AFF-USA.com via MEGA.

There are plenty of people who have opinions about Aaron Rodgers’ Packers drama, but the Green Bay quarterback isn’t interested in having to “defend” himself anymore.

During the Tuesday, September 21 interview of The Pat McAfee Show, the 37-year-old Packers player hit back at recent critics questioning his dedication to the sport. “It’s absolute horseshit to give people a platform who have no idea what they’re talking about as far as my mental state and my focus, my work habits—people who are not in my life or I’ve not had communication with them or not in the locker room,” Rodgers said. “That’s just chickenshit. It’s so ridiculous that people can get a platform to do this.”

“Most people don’t use their platform to defend themselves,” the quarterback added. “I don’t think I need to defend myself to people who aren’t worth spending time on.” Rodgers appeared to be hinting at the criticism he faced following his first week of the NFL season, during which the Packers lost in a game against the New Orleans Saints. While many took to social media to blast the quarterback over the game, Rodgers ultimately put the naysayers in their place after leading his team to defeat the Detroit Lions on Monday, September 20.

This isn’t the first time Rodgers has fielded criticism from fans and sports analysts, of course. The drama began in 2021 amid reports that the athlete was considering retirement after a series of contract negotiations and frustrations with Green Bay, including what he once referred to as “low-ball” offers to star players over the years that resulted in their departure from the team. The quarterback even skipped out on offseason training, choosing instead to spend time with his fiancée Shailene Woodley in Hawaii, but ultimately arrived in time for the team’s first training camp practice in July.

Following his return to the team, Rodgers admitted he felt like a “lame duck” quarterback at times. Yet the NFL player insisted that his misgivings with the Packers were not about money, but about being included in team decisions. “I think what basically happened is they said, ‘We’ll give you some money now,’” he told reporters at the time, according to Us Weekly. “‘Let’s see if we can throw some money at you.’ I said from the start it wasn’t about the money.”

“To me, it was bigger than this,” he said. “It was about trying to be a resource for the organization that I care about and love so much.” Clearly, Rodgers’ love of the game is still there—and as he said on Tuesday, he won’t bother to “defend” himself against those who can’t see it!

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