Rodgers, who was widely criticized last year for misleading the public about his COVID-19 vaccination status over the summer, won the Associated Press MVP award at the NFL Honors ceremony on Thursday.
Sirius XM radio host Joe Madison called out the honor on Twitter on Friday, comparing Rodgers to Kaepernick, who famously began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games in 2016 to protest racial injustice.
“Aaron Rodgers gets rewarded with MVP even after lying to the entire country,” he wrote. “Colin Kaepernick will probably never play in the NFL again for speaking the truth.”
The AP MVP award is decided by 50 members of the media who closely cover the NFL, not the league itself. But the honor nevertheless drove home the disparity in how the league has treated Kaepernick and Rodgers.
The NFL – which has a long history of race and discrimination issues within the league – has been widely accused of blackballing Kaepernick for his peaceful protests at games. The activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has remained unsigned by any NFL team since he became a free agent after the 2016 season.
Rodgers drew backlash after it came out in November that he was, in fact, unvaccinated after he gave a deceptive response about his vaccination status at a press conference in August.
When asked by a reporter if he was vaccinated, Rodgers replied, “Yeah, I’m immunized.”
The quarterback has also been criticized for spreading unfounded claims about COVID-19 vaccines, touting alternative treatment methods for the virus that have not been approved by the FDA and for not wearing a mask at press conferences.
The NFL has been accused of punishing Rodgers too mildly over the vaccination status debacle.
The league, which fined the Green Bay Packers $300,000, fined Rodgers $14,650 for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. The discipline was negotiated between the league and the NFL Players Association union, the AP reported.
Rodgers was not suspended for his actions, though some people thought he should have been at the time.
Now with a fourth AP MVP under Rodgers’ belt, other Twitter users this week have called attention to Kaepernick, who they argue has been treated differently by the league.