When it comes to professional athletes, I've always believed Aaron Rodgers to be a decent guy who likes to occasionally party with spicy brunette smoke bombs, and not some grade-A Left Coast dickhead who prances around off-field like his shit don't sink. The dude plays for the only non-profit, community-owned franchise in professional sports, so he surely has to know something about manners, common courtesy, and respecting the fans that make his career possible, right? Maybe not...
In a way, something just doesn't quite seem right with this report from WBAY-TV in Green Bay about Rodgers ignoring an autograph request from a breast cancer patient. According to the report, Jan Cavanaugh and her husband came straight from a radiation treatment facility to the Green Bay airport to see the Packers off to Atlanta. She told the news station she was hoping Rodgers would sign her pink NFL-licensed breast cancer awareness hat. You know, the ones that you saw everywhere during the month of October? The report clearly caught Rodgers walking right past Cavanaugh, blatantly ignoring someone who's both a breast cancer patient and fan who took time out of her day to see him off to win the Divisional Championship. There's no possible way he could have missed her. From the footage, it appears that she's the only person in the crowd obviously struggling for her life and dressed in Pepto-Bismol pink. Also, it's a tiny regional airport, not a crowded ATL or O'Hare International. He breezes past her like she's a panhandler in Penn Station, just continuing to bump to whatever the hell it is Aaron Rodgers listens before getting on a plane. Could he really be that much of a dickhead? If the answer is "yes," then is this a new low in professional athlete asshatery?
Thankfully, Clay Matthews saved the day and signed a little piece of NFL memorabilia for her. Matthews was even decent enough to bring a pen! Meanwhile, the news station that broke the story, WBAY, briefly spiked it as soon as things began to go viral. It's pretty easy to presume it was because they were burning a bridge with the only thing Green Bay, Wisconsin, really has going on for it, besides some pretty awesome walleye fishing. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk gets some steam off his chest, writing, "Rodgers needs to realize that without people like Jan Cavanaugh, whose passion for pro football prompted her to go to the airport after a radiation treatment in the hopes of getting Rodgers to sign the pink hat with the Packers logo that she always wears, make his entire lifestyle possible. Otherwise, he’d be no different than a guy who’s really good at throwing darts or horseshoes or cornhole bags. He’d derive personal satisfaction from the use of his God-given skills, but not much if any money."
Of course, maybe he's already friendly with Cavanaugh. Maybe he's already signed 20 of her hats. If not, we're going to guess that Rodgers and Cavanaugh will be united soon enough (if not already!) in blissful, opportunistic PR glory. That's just how professional sports work, damnit. Here's the report. Watch it and decide for yourself if you think Rodgers is a colossal douchenozzle or whatever.