December 4, 2023

Travis Kelce on Friday mentioned he stands by the COVID-19 vaccine “1,000%,” as he responded to reporters’ questions concerning the not-so-amusing joke by vaccine skeptic Aaron Rodgers, who appeared to derisively discuss with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs tight finish as “Mr. Pfizer” as a result of he seems in advertisements for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

Touching his not too long ago acquired mustache, Kelce instructed reporters, “I imply, with the ‘stache proper now, I seem like a man named Mr. Pfizer.”

Kelce then mentioned, in keeping with NBC Information, “Who knew I’d get into the vaxx struggle with Aaron Rodgers, man? Mr. Pfizer vs. the Johnson & Johnson household over there, man.”

Kelce was referring Rodgers’ quip Tuesday, whereas additionally stating that Rodgers is employed as quarterback by the New York Jets, that are owned by Woody Johnson. Johnson, in flip is the inheritor to the pharmaceutical fortune of Johnson & Johnson, one of many makers of COVID-19 vaccines.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 01: Injured Aaron Rodgers #8 of the New York Jets appears to be like on previous to the sport towards the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on October 01, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Picture by Dustin Satloff/Getty Pictures) 

As NBC Information reported, Rodgers has expressed the assumption that “Huge Pharma,” which incorporates Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Fashionable, has directed members of the sports activities media to vilify Rodgers for his resistance to COVID vaccines.

If there’s “a vaxx” struggle between the 2 NFL stars, Rodgers began it throughout his common Tuesday look on the “The Pat McAfee Present.” Rodgers made his “Mr. Pfizer” wisecrack two days after his New York Jets misplaced to Kelce’s Chiefs 23-20 on Sunday. Rodgers, a four-time MVP, didn’t play as a result of he suffered an achilles tendon damage within the first recreation of the season.

When McAfee requested Rodgers to evaluate the Jets’ play, the Chico-reared quarterback counseled the Jets’ protection, suggesting that his teammates managed to maintain Kelce from scoring any touchdowns.

“Mr. Pfizer, we kinda shut him down,” Rodgers mentioned. “He didn’t have a loopy affect recreation. Clearly he had some yards and stuff. It felt like for essentially the most half we performed.”

The “Mr. Pfizer” remark prompted McAfee and his co-host A.J. Hawk to snort uneasily. Rodgers and McAfee then spent the following couple of minutes riffing on a joke Rodgers as soon as made, which prompted a false report that he suffered “COVID toe” throughout his 2021 bout with the virus.

McAfee requested Rodgers if it felt good for him to throw some shade at Kelce for his Pfizer endorsement. He additionally requested Rodgers whether or not his “Mr. Pfizer” quip was deliberate. Rodgers deflected by saying he’s recognized Kelce a very long time and may’t see how he can be bothered by his joke.

“No, he’s doing commercials for Pfizer, so I’m positive he’s proudly owning it,” Rodgers mentioned. However Hawk identified that Kelce additionally endorses various different merchandise and questioned why Rodgers didn’t name him, for instance, “Mr. Lowe’s.”

On Friday, Kelce shrugged off Rodgers’ “Mr Pfizer” comment, whereas explaining his place on the COVID shot.

“I imply, I’ve all the time been, you realize — as soon as I bought the vaccine, I imply — I bought it earlier than of maintaining myself protected, maintaining my household protected, the individuals on this constructing,” Kelce mentioned. “So, yeah, I stand by it. 1,000 %. And totally comfy with him calling me Mr. Pfizer.”

Whilst Rodgers and Kelce tried to snort off the “Mr. Pfizer” remark, it nonetheless takes on darker connotations when seen within the context of assaults that Kelce and his rumored girlfriend Taylor Swift have endured prior to now few months.

The assaults, from vaccine skeptics, embrace recycled conspiracy theories about COVID-19 pictures, AFP reported, through Yahoo Information. A number of the web’s “most infamous anti-vaxxers,” reminiscent of Charlie Kirk, founding father of conservative group Turning Level USA, even have been exploiting the “buzz” round Kelce and Swift’s rumored romance to be able to crack jokes, lob insults and push false claims that vaccines trigger widespread coronary heart issues or kill individuals.

It could appear that Rodgers can be notably attuned to the heated rhetoric utilized by “infamous anti-vaxxers,” since he’s a widely known vaccine skeptic himself.

Again in November 2021, the previous Inexperienced Bay Packers star infamously examined constructive for the coronavirus and revealed on “The Pat McAfee Present” that he had not gotten the vaccine. Throughout that incendiary look, Rodgers was accused of spreading frequent anti-vaccine disinformation when he launched into an offended screed to justify why he had not gotten the vaccine.