Aaron Rodgers’ rant about immigrants in the military is a problem for the NFL

Aaron Rodgers’ rant about immigrants in the military is a problem for the NFL

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers is unlikely to be named as the running mate for conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s 2024 presidential campaign, according to a report from Mediaite over the weekend.

But it came as no surprise to me when Kennedy confirmed that Rodgers was on his list of potential veeps — both men have become celebrities in the conservative movement for rappelling into the depths of far-right rabbit holes and spouting the harebrained claims they find down there. And like with Kennedy, Rodgers’ conspiracy theories evidently can be steeped in outright bigotry.

That was made abundantly clear after some of Rodgers’ past remarks recently surfaced. Although he spent time last week responding (in lawyerly fashion) to allegations that he has privately shared false conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, he apparently doesn’t feel a similar desire to address the anti-immigrant bigotry and election denialism he espoused during a recent interview with fellow conspiracy theorist Eddie Bravo.

As first reported by the sports website Awful Announcing, Rodgers spread lies about Covid-19 during the Feb. 23 podcast — and then promoted a claim, without evidence, that immigrants who speak Spanish or Chinese are looking to join the U.S. military and then potentially turn on the country.

Rodgers said he heard the claim from conspiracy theorist Bret Weinstein on an episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast:

How ’bout when he’s [Weinstein] talking about the two different migration groups, right? You have the Spanish-speaking group and you have the Chinese group. And he’s talking about the scariest thing, which I’ve actually thought about for years. I said, no American-lovin’ soldier is going to turn on their people, right? But who would turn on their people?

He went on to say that Congress was opening the door to this kind of betrayal:

And he [Weinstein] mentioned on the podcast: What happens if they offer citizenship for military service? That’s a f—in’ scary thought. And what bill was just brought into the Congress, I believe yesterday or the day before? That exact type of bill, offering citizenship for immigrants for joining the military.

Rodgers was referring to a recently proposed bipartisan bill known as the Courage to Serve Act, which would expedite a process that already exists for immigrants to obtain citizenship if they serve in the military. Rodgers apparently has no clue that immigrants without citizenship have long served in the U.S. military, to our nation’s benefit. But let’s not overcomplicate things here: His focus on people who speak Spanish and Chinese is obviously bigoted and xenophobic.

It certainly aligns with the racist right-wing belief that immigrants are being allowed to “invade” the country to either harm Americans or alter their way of life.

And it also fits a trend I’ve written about recently: rich celebrities using their platforms to fuel anti-immigrant vitriol in the United States. It’s all very Charles Lindberghian. And I do wonder how the U.S. military — a prominent NFL partner — feels about one of the league’s most recognizable faces promoting the idea that some service members who speak foreign languages might actually be sleeper cells waiting to turn against the country.

Rodgers’ bigotry wasn’t confined to immigrants, though. He also suggested that election chicanery in “a bunch of the swing states” cost Donald Trump the 2020 presidential election, a nod to Trump’s ongoing lie that cities with large Black populations fraudulently stole the election from him:

It should make people go, ‘Hmm, something’s going on here.’ They stop the — they call the race, the counting at 3 in the morning, and you wake up the next day and it’s totally flipped.

On Fox News last week, Kennedy said that Rodgers was in the running to be his VP pick because he’s “battle-tested.” It seems the battles against truth and reality are his biggest.

Ja’han Jones

Ja’han Jones is The ReidOut Blog writer. He’s a futurist and multimedia producer focused on culture and politics. His previous projects include “Black Hair Defined” and the “Black Obituary Project.”  » …
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