As the NFL world continued to anxiously await news on Bills safety Damar Hamlin Tuesday, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made his weekly appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
On it, Rodgers offered some insight as a player in the league and his thoughts on the NFL’s response, along with some of the pitfalls of social media.
Rodgers had some thoughtful words on the tragic situation, along with ways to deal with the fallout of it.
After Rodgers started by praising the ESPN coverage of the situation and offering his support for Hamlin and his family before questioning the league response. He begins at the 2:07:00 mark of the full video.
“When I turned it on they had just come back from break and said ‘alright they’re gonna give them five minutes and throw them back out there.’ And I was like… ‘What?'” Rodgers said.
MORE: LeBron James, sports world send well wishes to Damar Hamlin
Rodgers then praised Bengals coach Zac Taylor for how he handled the difficult situation.
“I do wanna say this as well,” he said. “I think one person who deserves a lot of credit in this situation is Coach Taylor. I saw him walk across the field, and just the empathy I saw in his face, and the way he handled that thing … (Bills) Coach McDermott, this is your guy. And he was going through it … So big kudos to Zac.”
Beyond the game itself, Rodgers talked about the importance of mental health and people taking care of themselves.
“I just think you maybe have an open forum to allow guys to share their emotions,” he said. “I think as men sometimes, we’re so conditioned maybe to suppress everything, to just put on a good face and, ‘We’re going to tough through this.’ I don’t really think that’s the approach.” He also talked about the perils of “doomscrolling” while waiting for these horrific situations to unfold.
“At one point I just had to stop (refreshing Twitter) because it’s this loophole of just like depressive thoughts about him and about football mortality and about everything, the future and all that,” he said.
Rodgers has long been a proponent of mental health, with this being a strong example of that. As players around the league continue to grapple with the weight of this terrifying scene, we may see more and more players start to speak out in support of their emotional well-being, as well as their physical one.
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