Aaron Rodgers offered his first public comments on his ongoing rift with the Packers since rumors arose on April 29 that he wanted to be traded out of Green Bay.
Naturally, he saved them for Kenny Mayne’s final time anchoring “SportsCenter.”
Rodgers, one of several high-profile athletes making appearances on Monday’s episode of “SportsCenter,” opened his appearance by saying, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” — an ode to former Cal teammate Marshawn Lynch, also scheduled to appear on “SportsCenter.”
Rodgers and Mayne joked around, with the latter asking whether the Packers quarterback would be willing to use the Fan Controlled Football League as a bargaining chip with Green Bay.
“Anything’s on the table,” Rodgers joked.
The two reminisced for several minutes before Mayne asked Rodgers what he thought of fans and observers being conditioned to think management was always in the right, and any individual player who stands up for themself is in the wrong.
“The people. That’s the most important thing: The people make an organization,” Rodgers said. “People make the business. And sometimes that gets forgotten. Culture, the foundation of it, brick by brick, is built by the people. Not by the organization. Not by the building. Not by the corporation. It’s built by the people.”
Mayne then interjected and asked Rodgers whether he was demanding a trade from the Packers. Rodgers didn’t say whether he wanted to be traded out of Green Bay, but did say his issue with the team had nothing to do with 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love, Rodgers’ heir apparent, and more to do with the management.
“With my situation, it’s never been about the draft pick,” Rodgers said. “Picking Jordan, I love Jordan. He’s a great kid. A lot of fun to work together. Love my coaching staff, love my teammates, love my fan base in Green Bay. Incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy, and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character, it’s about culture. It’s about doing things the right way.
“A lot of this was put in motion last year, and the wrench was just kind of thrown into it when I won MVP and played the way I played last year,” Rodgers added. “This is just kind of the spiel out of all that. Look man, it is about the people.”
Mayne asked Rodgers if he thought he could come to some sort of agreement with the Packers, which he seemed uncertain of. Then, in typical Kenny Mayne fashion, he closed out his interview by making the quarterback laugh:
“One last thing: Last time we did the interview together, you told me to go heavy on the crypto-currency game,” Mayne said. “I did. We’re down 40 percent, then I lost my job. (My wife Gretchen) just wants a new comforter. F— you, Aaron Rodgers.”
And with that, Mayne left the set with Rodgers laughing behind him.