Packers All-Pro quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, joined in on the Shark Week festivities on Monday. He was one of several current and former professional athletes to join in throughout the week. Others include Shaquille O’Neal, Rhonda Rousey, Lindsey Vonn and, Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski.
Rodgers was on the show Monster Tag, off the coast of San Diego, attempting to help the shark researchers tag a Blue Shark and raise awareness for the animals.
Joined by shark researcher Riley Elliott, PhD, Rodgers and the teams’ goal was to apply a satellite tracker to a Blue Shark in order to track it’s migration patterns. With this tracker in place, it can provide more information that can help lead to the protection and conservation of the animals.
While the thought of having your future Hall of Fame quarterback tangling with the ultimate apex predator is alarming, there were plenty of protections in place. Rodgers was outfitted with a diving suit that helped block electrical signals caused by heart beats that the shark’s electro-sensory system can track. He was also taught (and pulled off expertly) what was essentially a stiff-arm move to redirect curious Blue Sharks.
The Blue Shark is nearly threatened with extinction so helping protect them and tracking their patterns was an essential goal to help with species survival. According to Oceana.org, the Blue Shark is an open-ocean predator, can swim up to 25 MPH, and can grow 9’-10’ in length. Also, attacks to humans by the Blue Shark are very infrequent. According to some Wikipedia sleuthing, from 1580-2013, there are only 13 recorded biting incidents with four of those ending fatally.
While Rodgers was successful at accurately hitting the practice target with the tagging spear gun— because of course he was— they ultimately didn’t get a chance to tag a shark that approached them. Rodgers got a chance to execute his shark redirect move to a curious Blue Shark, but it quickly swam back into the depths of the Pacific.
If you’re interested, you can track the sharks that Vonn and Gronk tagged during the episode here.
Also, if you’re a passionate animal lover like Rodgers, you can get more information on protecting and restoring oceans here.