During his weekly spot with The Pat McAfee Show, co-hosted by his former teammate A.J. Hawk, Aaron Rodgers was asked about his thoughts on former Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who resigned yesterday after The New York Times released emails in which Gruden said racist, homophobic, and misogynistic things about people in the league from commissioner Roger Goodell to officials. Rodgers, who was rumored to be considering the Raiders as well as the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos as a potential landing spot during #RodgersWatch, spoke his mind on the situation.
For those who want to hear it from his voice, this topic starts around at the 2 hour and 43 minute mark on the video below:
Here is the transcript of the conversation:
“There is something going on in the NFL right now that is obviously massive in the real world, not just in the NFL. I think somebody who has been in the NFL as long as you, just like I had this thought and A.J. [Hawk], the NFL locker room is such a beautiful place because it’s such a collection of backgrounds and people that are vastly different from maybe you are. So the things that were being said by [Jon] Gruden in those emails make no sense to me for the culture that is the NFL. Do you have any thoughts on that situation and how we go forward or anything like that, Aaron? “
“Yeah, I mean I think that it’s going to come out. You know, the truth is going to come out. That’s one thing for sure.
I think that we have to leave space for people to grow and change and better themselves, but I think there are opinions that just don’t belong in the game. I can say with real honesty and pride that I don’t feel like those are opinions that are shared by players. I feel like in the locker room it’s a close-knit group of guys and we don’t treat people differently base on the way they talk, where they’re from, what they’re into, what they look like, and I’m proud that I feel like that’s the most important thing to being leaders, to being connected as a team is respect and love and connection and really seeing people.
I know there’s probably opinions similar to that, but I feel like they’re few and far between. I really do. I feel like the player, the coach of today is a more empathetic, advanced, progressive, loving, connected type of person.
I’m proud of the locker room we have and the way that we talk because people come from different backgrounds. They have different opinions about everything from politics to raising a family and the locker room allows you the opportunity to have some incredible conversations. To see where people are coming from and to hear and listen and hear a new perspective, that to me is the best way to grow and to learn and to change and to better yourself.
It’s not to live in an echo chamber where you’re constantly hearing the same stuff that re-emblazons you’re opinion. You know, that confirmation bias that we know exists on social media that keeps feeding you the same type of content. I think we need to fight against that and to listen to opinions might be different than tenents that we hold onto and to continue to grow and challenge our own belief systems. Why we believe what we believe, you know, questioning things is the only way to grow, as I said at the end of last year.
Question everything. That’s the way you grow is by learning about why you believe what you believe and then testing the things that are important to you from a knowledge standpoint, form a personal standpoint, so you can better yourself.
Learning about people who look different than you, who are from places different than you, who speak different from you, is the only way to truly understand. When you understand people, on a deeper level, then you can grow and change, and I think that’s what we need to continue to promote in our league. Understanding and listening.
I think that, like I said, we need to allow people to grow and change, you know, but those opinions don’t have a place in the game. It was surprising to see that that thing went so quickly, but I think that was probably the best decision for all parties involved. Hopefully, we can all, as a league, learn and grow from this and, hopefully, it puts people on notice who have some of those same opinions. Like, hey, man, it’s time to grow and evolve and change and connect and that shit doesn’t fly.”