Speed Reads

like a bad neighbor

State Farm says it won't drop pitchman Aaron Rodgers after vaccine comments

State Farm is standing by its pitchman, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, even as the insurance company pulled back airing his commercials.

During the summer, when asked if he had been vaccinated against COVID-19, Rodgers responded that he was "immunized." Last week, Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, and it came out that he was not vaccinated. He then appeared on The Pat McAfee Show, claiming to be a victim of "the woke mob" and sharing several pieces of misinformation about the virus and vaccine. Rodgers also quoted Martin Luther King Jr. to support his position and revealed that he's been getting medical advice from podcaster Joe Rogan.

Following his remarks, Wisconsin-based health company Prevea Health ended its partnership with Rodgers on Saturday, saying it supports protecting people through vaccinations. In a statement to USA Today on Monday, State Farm said Rodgers has been "a great ambassador for our company for much of the past decade," and while they "don't support some of the statements that he has made ... we respect his right to have his own personal point of view." The insurance giant said it does "encourage vaccinations," but respects "everyone's right to make a choice based on their personal circumstances."

Still, State Farm did cut back on the number of commercials featuring Rodgers that aired over the weekend — Apex Marketing Group reported that just 1.5 percent of the company's ads on Sunday showed Rodgers, down from 25 percent during the two previous Sundays.