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Aaron Rodgers Rips ‘Woke PC Culture': TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. I like Aaron Rodgers, and I don’t like “PC culture,” but this was a huuuuuuge stretch.

During his weekly appearance Tuesday on The Pat McAfee Show, the topic of Rodgers’s “I own you” comments to Bears fans came up.

You’ll recall that after scoring a rushing touchdown to seal Green Bay’s 24–14 win against Chicago on Sunday, Rodgers said, “All my f---ing life, I own you. I still own you. I still own you.”

Everyone who isn’t a Bears fan got a huge kick out of the trash talking, and the clip went viral.

When McAfee asked him about the reaction to choice words for Chicago, Rodgers bizarrely turned himself into a victim.

The future Hall of Famer unleashed a jumbled word salad about “woke PC culture,” even though, from everything I saw, there was nothing but praise for Rodgers sticking it to Bears fans.

Here’s what he said to McAfee about the reaction to his “I own you” taunt:

“I found out about it after the game and I realized that it was probably gonna be a thing. Not maybe as big a thing as it went to with some of the things I saw. That is the state of our media and really our culture, not just media. But our culture. This woke PC culture, and if I may elaborate just slightly, if you don’t mind. I think that in general my feelings are this:

There’s a PC woke culture that exists, and there’s a cancel culture at the same time. And it’s based on people’s own feelings of personal miserability or just distaste for their own situations or life or just an enjoyment of holding other people down with their thumb, but when you engage in this culture and you’re immersed in it and you’re in it so much and for me, when I took time in the offseason to work on myself and work on my mental status, I was selfish or nonresponsive, and selfish and entitled. When I came back and said what I said at what I felt like was the right time and spoke the truth, the same sentiments were shared. Maybe not by as many people, because a lot of people respected what I said, but the same sentiments were shared.

When these ridiculous sentiments and story lines and narratives get drawn on about me, about—pick a topic, from my family to my leadership style. They just go on and on and people start thinking, well he hasn’t responded to it so it must be true, right? And they run with these stories. And when I respond to it and set the record straight, when I finally said enough is enough, this thing has gotten so far and so ridiculous, then I’m being sensitive.

When Week 1, I have been there unfortunately before and have had a few dud games and people think I don’t have enough passion, I don’t care about what’s going on, then I’m passionless, I’m not all in. When I make a statement after a touchdown that puts us up two scores, now I’m not a sportsman, now I’m making this shit about me. This is the thing that goes on.

And ultimately there’s a game within the game. And in this game, there’s a player and there’s a game. If the player abides by the rules of the game, he’s a part of the game. Now the rules of the game are you must acquiesce with the woke mob at all times. You must. However, when you live about the game, the game does not exist. That’s where I’m at. These things, I realize them, I see them, but I’m not a part of this game that’s being played. The game is being played out by these individuals and I see it, I hear it, but to me it’s comedy.”

There’s a lot here.

I’m not sure there’s an athlete today who talks more about how he doesn’t care at all about what people say while always talking about what people say than Rodgers.

As for the “woke mob,” I spend all day, every day searching the web for content. I didn’t see one person knock Rodgers for what he said, let alone try to get him canceled. It was the complete opposite. He was praised all over the web for giving us the moment.

To McAfee’s credit, he relayed this point to Rodgers, asking, “Did you think it was more a negative response to the ‘I still own you’ thing? Because I’m gonna be honest, maybe I just have too many blinders on, but everyone I saw loved it.”

Correct, Pat. Everyone did love it. Which makes Rodgers’s rant on the radio show even more peculiar.

If Rodgers wanted to use the platform to knock “woke PC culture,” that would be one thing. But to act like the “woke PC culture” was going after him for the “I own you” moment just didn’t make any sense.

2. It didn't take long for the Inside the NBA crew to get in midseason form. Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith did their show from outside the Staples Center last night and were distracted at one point by a certain odor.

3. We told you in Tuesday's Traina Thoughts about FS1's Chris Broussard saying the Bills missed left tackle Taylor Lewan on Monday night even though Lewan plays for the Titans.

ESPN's Ryan Clark obviously saw the clip of Broussard's embarrassing gaffe.

4. I wrote this line in Friday's Traina Thoughts: "Will we ever be able to enjoy one big sporting event without the refs and umps ruining it? The answer is no."

Let's cut to last night's Astros–Red Sox game. How did home plate ump Laz Diaz do?

Obviously, the biggest blown call by far had a major impact on the game. It's hard to imagine what Diaz saw to call this a ball.

5. Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns has revealed his pregame ritual, and it's quite intense.

6. The latest SI Media Podcast features two guests.

First up is Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand. Ourand talks about the fallout from the Jon Gruden email controversy and ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s journalistic ethics getting called into question as part of the fallout. We also discussed ESPN’s new deal with the NFL to air a Monday night wild-card game and how Peyton and Eli Manning's alternate broadcast fits in. Ourand also updates us on where things stand regarding the future of the NFL Sunday Ticket contract and whether DirecTV's run is over.

Following Ourand, Alan Sepinwall, the chief TV critic for Rolling Stone, joins the podcast to talk about The Many Saints of Newark, Squid Game, Jon Stewart’s new Apple TV+ show, Seinfeld’s syndication deals and much more.

The podcast closes with the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, Jimmy and Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY talk about Jimmy’s trying to book Larry David for the SI Media Podcast, Sal’s NFL Sunday getting ruined and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on AppleSpotify and Stitcher.

You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: There might not be a scene that sums up the spirit of Curb Your Enthusiasm more than this one.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.