Why Aaron Rodgers And Joe Rogan's Friendship Is So Controversial

No one's arguing about Aaron Rodgers' MVP status, but opinions about his off-the-field behavior are fair game. The quarterback has often confused and baffled fans — whether it's his feud with the rest of the Rodgers clan, his COVID-19 immunization claims, his love life, or that time he cosplayed Nicolas Cage at the Green Bay Packers training camp.

Rodgers is also friends with another controversial figure: Joe Rogan. As of 2023, Rogan's podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience" has been Spotify's most-streamed podcast, but criticism has arisen around the way that Rogan leverages his platform. For example, plenty of fans agree that expressing antisemitic tropes and spreading misinformation about COVID-19 might not be the best usage of said platform, per Forbes. Rogan has also hosted problematic figures on his show, including far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the latter of whom made inflammatory claims about the polio vaccine.

By themselves, fans believe that Rodgers and Rogan have each said and done some questionable things — but put them together, and they only seem to hype each other up. In fact, Rodgers has exhibited much of his controversial behavior while in conversation with Rogan. Remember the time the Super Bowl champ landed in hot water when he caught COVID-19 in 2021, after first insinuating he was vaccinated when he wasn't? Don't worry, though, because Rodgers consulted Rogan on his medical decisions, as he shared on "The Pat McAfee Show." And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Aaron Rodgers' explosive interview with Joe Rogan

Aaron Rodgers was ridiculed by fans and host Pat McAfee after revealing that he was leaning on his friend Joe Rogan for medical advice in the midst of his battle with COVID-19. "I have a lot of admiration for Joe," Rodgers defended himself. "I definitely talked with about a dozen friends of mine who dealt with COVID and they all were very helpful in different ways — Joe being one of them."

A year later in 2022, the quarterback appeared in an explosive interview on "The Joe Rogan Experience" and revealed that he had purposely misled fans into thinking he was vaccinated. First explaining that the Green Bay Packers franchise (where Rodgers was playing at the time) was conducting a "witch hunt" to determine who was and wasn't vaccinated, Rodgers concocted a plan to evade any questioning. "I had come to the conclusion that I was going to say, 'I've been immunized' and if there was a follow-up, then talk about my process," he told Rogan (via FanSided). "But I thought there was a possibility that, I say I'm immunized, maybe they understand what that means, maybe they don't, maybe they follow up." As we now know, once Rodgers caught COVID, he was forced to come clean with the fact that he hadn't, in fact, been vaccinated.

During the same interview, the NFL player also told Rogan that he'd once played a football game while under the influence of Percocet, calling the NFL's stance on painkillers "a** backwards."

Joe Rogan and Aaron Rodgers' controversial approach to health

Let's clarify that Joe Rogan wasn't encouraging Aaron Rodgers to take the above actions; however, he did agree with him and thus normalized his behavior. During the August 2022 episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," Rogan agreed with Rodgers as the four-time MVP winner encouraged the use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to combat COVID. Per Salon, both drugs were never approved by health experts. Separately, Rodgers extolled the benefits of ayahuasca, crediting it for giving him a new and profound appreciation for life. He and Rogan both agreed that if more people used psychedelic drugs, the world would be a better place. "[It] would literally fix the world: if more people had psychedelic trips and more people had more experiences that dissolved their ego and more people had an understanding that community isn't just a bunch of people that live together, it's a bunch of people that care about each other," Rogan said (via the Daily Mail).

Since then, Rodgers has continued to turn to ayahuasca for clarity. In December 2022, he spoke with Men's Health about the psychedelic's potential to induce greater well-being, and in 2023, he told Pat McAfee that he'd undergone a four-day darkness retreat in hopes of achieving "a better headspace." While some research does support psychedelics in mental health treatments, trying ayahuasca isn't for everyone. And TBH, we're still waiting for sufficient data to come out on darkness retreats.