What does Packers QB Rodgers owe us after Braun scandal?
Jennifer Brilowski, Packers contributor
Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Braun. Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the MLB season. Yes, this is baseball news, but it’s being reported as football news (according to my Google alerts) because of Braun’s well-known friendship with Aaron Rodgers.
While I was puzzled by the frenzy, I was even more surprised that people seem to care what I personally think about the situation as evidenced by an inbox full of articles, jokes, and questions. I’ve been asked what Rodgers should do about it Braun’s actions and admission of guilt.
Do I think Rodgers regrets his tweets? Should he pay up on a ‘bet’ he made?
Will they still be friends? Shouldn’t he publicly denounce Braun and his actions? Well, without pretending that I’m an expert, here are my thoughts on the matter.
First things first: I cringe at the thought of these questions being thrust upon Aaron Rodgers right now.
Why? Because it has absolutely nothing to do with his job as quarterback of the greatest football team the world has ever known.
As training camp begins and a fresh season lies in wait for the Packers, is this really what we want him focused on?
I would happily accept “no comment” as a response so he can tell us what he thinks about his job, his team, and their upcoming season.
Even then, I don’t need to hear too much; I just want the season to start so I can watch them play!
I think the media sometimes overestimates just how much average fans care about this stuff. Please stop with the personal questions and let him go run around or lift weights or take a nap or whatever it is he needs to do to be successful on the field. THAT is what I care about!
Second, Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun are friends – good friends if what we’ve seen over the past few years is an accurate depiction of their relationship.
These men have chosen to become professional athletes, and therefore, know they’ll be in the spotlight and I’m sure they expect a lot of attention. But do they agree that every detail of their personal life should become public property?
Please take a moment to think about your own friendships: haven’t you kept big secrets from your friends once or twice? Or for that matter, haven’t you kept secrets for your friends? Would you be willing to explain those choices to everyone who feels that your business is their business?
I’m not here to speculate what Rodgers knew or when; I’m here to say that their relationship is none of our business and that he doesn’t owe us any answers about his friendship with Ryan Braun.
If he was lied to by a friend, that’s hurtful and is probably not something he wants to share with the world. If he knew the truth, we’ll never know, so it doesn’t pay to dwell on it.
Finally, I never forget that Rodgers and Braun are real people facing unreal scrutiny every single day. Athletes are human beings and none are more perfect than you or me, yet we expect that they should never falter or let us down.
Yes, it’s disappointing that Ryan Braun made some poor choices, but it’s no more disappointing than anyone else who lies or breaks rules to give themselves an unfair advantage in any situation.
When the system works, if you get caught breaking the rules, you face the consequences. This particular case highlights the fact that talent, money, fame, and a winning smile aren’t enough to repair the damage done.
Braun is accepting his punishment, and has much to do to heal his life and rebuild trust among any friends and family who he may have hurt by his actions.
I, for one, hope his friend Aaron Rodgers is at his side; a loyal friend through thick and thin.
And if not? I hope Aaron Rodgers puts all this drama aside and focuses his energy on paving the road to Super Bowl XLVIII in green and gold.
Read more from Jennifer Brilowski, the founder of Aaron Rodgers Day (@aaronrodgersday on Twitter) who edits and writes for Whirled Affairs, a publication she started.
Jay Sorgi contributed to this story.