A frustrated Aaron Rodgers sounded off on Friday with criticism of the government’s restrictions and lockdown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback pointed to the growing unemployment rates and increased demand for help on suicide hotlines, and challenged the sentiment that the lockdown should continue.
“For many of us — and I’ve seen a lot of comments on this and obviously my story coming back from Peru before the country kind of went into a lockdown — I think we all were buying into the idea of quarantine to flatten the curve and I think there are a lot of questions now that it’s more of a house arrest to find a cure with people wondering exactly what that means as far as the future of the country and the freedoms we’re allowed to have at this point,” Rodgers said during an interview with Green Bay reporters.
Rodgers has discussed his departure from Peru as countries began to shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. Rodgers was traveling to a remote location near Cusco, and rushed to that airport for fear of getting stuck in the country.
Americans are grappling with the same restlessness that seems to irk Rodgers. But of course, there’s two sides to the argument. And cases have steadily increased in Georgia and Florida since the states reopened. A number of public health experts believe the states are reopening too early.
The Packers quarterback noted the importance of sports to bring the country together during this tough time, and the NFL seems intent upon being a uniting force, if it can be. It hosted the 2020 NFL Draft in a virtual format, and the offseason programs are happening over videoconference. The league wants to start their season on time, though they have begun preparing for delays.
“I’m very hopeful that we can have a [football] season,” Rodgers said. “I think the important think to think about, though, which is more important than that is the state of the country and the fact that we have 36-plus million people on unemployment right now, we have rising poverty levels to go along with the unemployment, you have suicide hotline is up 8,000 percent.
“There’s really a lot of problems going on in the country right now associated with the fear around this pandemic and I hope that we can use some common sense moving forward and make decisions that are going to be in the best interest of all people moving forward, and I hope that sports is a part of that at some point.”