Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is speaking out against the fans who booed former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, following the stunning news of his retirement over the weekend.
“I thought it was pretty disgusting,” Rodgers said, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
“He’s making a really tough decision and then before that, he makes the decision, I don’t know why that doesn’t stay in house to kind of protect him a little bit. Although when I think about it, I thought it would’ve been more of a standing-ovation type thing and a thank you than boos.”
While Rodgers says he is a long way away from his own retirement, he respects Luck’s decision to call it a career, calling it “very selfless, not selfish.”
“I, 100 percent, respect him immensely for his decision” Rodgers said.
“I salute him for choosing quality of life. He’s a fantastic player, he had a great career and he’s got a lot to be proud of. Like many of us in this locker room, if not all of us, we all have interests outside of football. Andrew is an extremely bright guy, and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of things to transition into. I know what it’s like to deal with rehab and going through injuries. I’ve been on IR twice. It’s tough. He was on it pretty much for an entire season and next offseason trying to get his arm back. Again, in my opinion, not playing with him but just reading what his teammates said, tough guy. What he went through to get himself back on the field is what it means to be a leader and I’m excited for him.”
“I’m sure when you’re going through stuff where you’re not sure if you’re ever going to play again — like Andrew did, like (Washington Redskins quarterback) Alex Smith might be dealing with right now — I’m sure there’s some tough days because, at some point, you start thinking about your post-career life and ability to move and functions,” Rodgers said. “A lot of guys over the years have had to end their years because of injuries. Two of my favorite quarterbacks growing up, Steve Young and Troy Aikman, those are tough decision but I think they’re decisions in the interest of your life at 40 and 50 and 60 hopefully. Again, I give him a lot of credit for making that tough decision, and I think he did it with enough time and lets them move forward with Jacoby [Brissett] and figure out what they want to do with their roster.”
Rodgers has also spoken about his thoughts about his post-career health, after suffering three known concussions already during his NFL career.
“Of course, of course,” Rodgers said. “Anytime you’ve had a concussion or a couple of concussions, the following days you’re always thinking about what it’s going to be like, but I think with medicine the way it is and research the way it is, there’s going to be more and more things that can help guys down the line to feel better, hopefully. And hopefully, we can do our job in the [NFL Players Association] and continue to take care of former players.”
While Colts’ fans may be angry at Luck, Rodgers is showing him nothing but support and respect for making the tough decision.