State Farm Insurance on Monday got behind its spokesman, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, defending his right not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 even as another company he did endorsements for, Prevea Health, dropped him.
"Aaron Rodgers has been a great ambassador for our company for much of the past decade," State Farm said in a statement to Fox Business.
"We don't support some of the statements that he has made, but we respect his right to have his own personal point of view. We recognize our customers, employees, agents, and brand ambassadors come from all walks of life, with differing viewpoints on many issues.
''Our mission at State Farm is to support safer, stronger communities. To that end, we encourage vaccinations, but respect everyone's right to make a choice based on their personal circumstances."
Rodgers came under fire for saying in a podcast interview that he was not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 because of allergies that could cause a harmful reaction.
"I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now," Rodgers told former NFL punter Pat McAfee and his former teammate and linebacker A.J. Hawk in a post of the interview on McAfee's Twitter page Nov. 5. "So, before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I would like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself."
He said he did not oppose getting vaccinated, but his medical history could make that a risk, and that he is instead implementing an “immunization protocol” to protect himself.
"I'm not an anti-vaxx, flat-earther. … I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long-term immunization protocol to protect myself, and I'm very proud of the research that went into that," he said.
The explanation of his position on vaccinations was not enough to stop Prevea Health from ending its relationship with the Super Bowl winner and MVP.
"Prevea Health remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers and communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic," the company wrote in a statement. "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."
Rodgers' statements come less than a week after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its rules to enforce President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees.
As of Jan. 4, companies must obtain proof that their employees are either fully vaccinated or are testing negative once a week in the workplace or face fines of up to $15,000 per employee not in compliance.
More than two dozen states have filed lawsuits to block the mandate.
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