Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, local health care provider end partnership amid COVID-19 vaccination controversy

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- One day after Aaron Rodgers explained why he was unvaccinated and how he tried to gain fully vaccinated status because he received an alternate treatment in an attempt to give himself immunity from COVID-19, a Wisconsin-based health care organization announced the end of its partnership with the Green Bay Packers quarterback.

"Prevea Health and Aaron Rodgers have made the decision to end their partnership effective Nov. 6, 2021," Prevea Health said in a statement Saturday. "Aaron has been a partner of Prevea Health, serving as a spokesperson and supporting the health care organization's health and wellness initiatives throughout Wisconsin, since 2012. Prevea Health remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers and communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes encouraging and helping all eligible populations to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent the virus from further significantly impacting lives and livelihoods."

The organization said it would have no further comment.

Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and will miss Sunday's game at the Kansas City Chiefs. On Friday, during a 46-minute appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show," Rodgers said that an allergy to mRNA vaccines prevented him from getting two of the three approved vaccines and that he did not feel comfortable getting the other because of reactions that he had heard about. The use of that vaccine was briefly suspended earlier this year.

The quarterback petitioned the NFL, the NFL Players Association and a jointly approved infectious disease expert to be considered vaccinated and therefore not have to follow protocols that unvaccinated players do both in team facilities and outside.

In the meantime, Rodgers told reporters in August that he was "immunized." Shortly thereafter, his petition was denied.

Rodgers has violated at least one of the protocols for unvaccinated players by regularly appearing at his news conferences without a mask. Only vaccinated players can do that.

"Some of the rules to me are not based in science at all. They're based purely in trying to out and shame people, like needing to wear a mask at a podium when every person in the room is vaccinated and wearing a mask makes no sense to me," Rodgers said Friday on the show. "If you got vaccinated to protect yourself from a virus that I don't have as an unvaccinated individual, then why are you worried about anything I can give you?

"And let me hit on protocols now because that's obviously been out there as well: I have followed every single protocol to a T -- minus that one I just mentioned that makes absolutely no sense to me. But my daily routine is the routine of an unvaccinated person."

Protocols agreed on by the NFL and the players' union also prevent unvaccinated players from gathering with more than three teammates or coaches away from the facility. Social media posts have shown photos of Rodgers at events with more than three others from the team, including a Halloween party hosted by one of his teammates last week.

The NFL said last week that it had launched an investigation into the matter but said that responsibility for enforcement of the policies rest first with each team.

Earlier this year, a hospital in the hometown of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins cut ties with him. Cousins also is unvaccinated.