Earlier today we brought to light the extreme support Aaron Rodgers showed Ryan Braun during the initial reports of Braun using performance enhancing drugs (you can read about Rodgers betting his salary on his friend here). It appears that Rodgers plans to distance himself from that support now.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel caught up with Rodgers at training camp for the Green Bay Packers and asked him about the Ryan Braun situation and his support of his friend.
“I was shocked, I really was, just like many of you were. I was backing up a friend. He looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true. So, it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend, but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, really baseball fans. It doesn’t feel great being lied to like that and I’m disappointed in the way it all went down.”
Rodgers seemed to express the same thoughts that many Milwaukee Brewers fans are sharing currently. A fan favorite that everyone rallied behind during accusations that he vehemently denied, Braun now seems to be a fallen hero that is spiraling downward.
It’s hard to fault someone for rushing to the aid of a friend, especially one that they believe in and have no reason to believe is lying to them. Rodgers responses right now are quite measured and exact, sounding like a wounded friend but also an athlete that is very protective of his own image:
“I don’t regret backing a friend up. Obviously, in hindsight a more measured approach would obviously be a better course of action. I definitely believe in forgiveness and moving forward. He has a tough task in front of him moving forward with his career, on and off the field.”
Rodgers refused to commit to any business decisions based on the duo’s joint restaraunt in Milwaukee, 8-twelve MVP Bar And Grill. When pressed for an answer, Rodgers stayed focused on things within his control:
“As far as the business goes, right now I’m focused on football and I have people who can help me with those issues.”
Braun has stated that he is legally bound from commenting on the situation until MLB closes the investigation of the Biogenesis situation. That silence is seemingly hurting him worse than anything right now as it leaves his fans, his teammates, and his friends searching for answers and jumping to conclusions. While it is unlikely that the entire truth comes out at any point, I am sure people will be listening when Braun approaches a microphone to express his thoughts when this is all said and done.
Getting the fans, and his friends, to believe what he says might be his biggest challenge.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
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