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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers claims he didn’t lie about vaccination status – Sportsnet.ca

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Editor’s note: With overwhelming consistency, research has shown vaccinations against COVID-19 are safe and effective. Residents of Canada who are looking to learn more about vaccines, or the country’s pandemic response, can find up-to-date information on Canada’s public health website.


Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers insists he didn’t lie about his vaccination status when he was asked about it by reporters this summer.

Appearing on the Pat McAfee Show on YouTube on Friday, two days after he tested positive for COVID-19, the three-time NFL MVP took issue with those who called his statement that he had been “immunized” misleading.

“My plan was to say I have been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie. It was the truth,” Rodgers said.

“Had there been a follow-up to my statement that I have been immunized, I would have responded with this. I would have said look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther. I am somebody who is a critical thinker. I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body.”

Rodgers said Friday he sought alternative treatments instead of the NFL-endorsed COVID-19 vaccinations because of an allergy he has to ingredients in two of the FDA-approved shots.

“I’m not an anti-vax, flat-earther. I have an allergy to an ingredient that’s in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long-term immunization protocol to protect myself and I’m very proud of the research that went into that.”

Rodgers, who has been tested daily as part of NFL protocols for the unvaccinated, came up positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. He said he didn’t feel well on Thursday but was much better on Friday.

He can’t rejoin the Packers for 10 days, missing Sunday’s game at Kansas City. Rodgers must have a negative test to return to the team on Nov. 13.

Rodgers noted that on the CDC’s website, “it says should you have an allergy to any of the ingredients, you should not get one of the mRNA vaccines. So those two (Moderna and Pfizer) were out already.”

He said with some of the public issues involving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — clotting issues and his “hearing of multiple people who had had adverse events around getting the J&J … the J&J shot was not even an option at that point.”

His research led him to a treatment he did not detail, and he said the NFL was aware of the treatment protocol he was using, which took “multiple months.”

“The league was fully aware of it upon my return to the Packers (in August),” Rodgers said. “It was at that point that I petitioned them to accept my immunization under their vaccination protocol.”

That petition and a subsequent appeal were denied by the NFL, players’ union and independent infectious disease consultants.

“And I also said, how come there’s no exemption for medical exemptions, religious exemptions, pre-existing conditions?,” Rodgers added. “And they basically said those are all basically exempted but you would be put in the non-vaccinated category.”

The league did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rodgers also told McAfee he has concerns about potential fertility issues had he taken one of the vaccinations.

Many scientists, including three doctors who specialize in reproductive health vouched for the safety of vaccinations for couples who want to have a baby and urged people to seek out their doctors or nurse practitioners with any questions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and obstetrician groups also recommend COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant individuals.

Dr. Stephanie Broadwell of Sanford Health Fargo, Dr. Stephanie Foughty of Altru Health Devils Lake and Dr. Ana Tobiaz of Sanford Health Bismarck said at a virtual North Dakota town hall in July to get the vaccine.

“I can understand that people are scared, people are nervous,” Broadwell said. “I think sometimes there can be information that can be helpful and some that can be somewhat misleading. I think it’s just really hard to digest all the information that is out there and stories that are filtering through that maybe even come from trusted sources.”

Rodgers strongly questioned the NFL’s protocols, along with any organization forcing health requirements on individuals.

“I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something,” he said. “Health is not a one-size fits all for everybody, and for me it involved a lot of study in the offseason.

“If you weren’t in the vaccinated category you were in a different category which involved some draconian measures and protocols you would have to adhere (to), which in my opinion were not based on science and were more based in a shame-based environment to try and get as many guys to get vaccinated as possible, so that the league looks better to the rest of the world. That was the focus of these protocols …”

The NFL coronavirus protocols were developed in conjunction with CDC guidelines and independent infectious disease experts.

With files from the Associated Press.

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Italy, Portugal drawn in same bracket for World Cup qualifying playoffs – CBC.ca

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The World Cup in Qatar is sure to be without either Italy or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Italy and Portugal, the current and previous European champions, were drawn into the same qualifying playoff bracket Friday, meaning at least one will fail to qualify for next year’s tournament.

Italy will first face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semifinal next March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot at the World Cup.

Four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, missing the tournament for the first time since 1958 after losing in the playoffs to Sweden. Now, after winning Euro 2020 in July, it may have to beat Euro 2016 champion Portugal to avoid a second straight failure.

“It’s not a great draw and it could have gone better,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini acknowledged. “Just like we wanted to avoid Portugal, they would have wanted to avoid Italy.”

Ronaldo has led Portugal to every World Cup since 2006 and this could be his last attempt at winning international soccer’s biggest trophy. He will turn 37 before next year’s tournament starts.

Ronaldo helped Portugal get through the playoffs for the 2014 World Cup, scoring a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Sweden that featured an epic duel between superstars, with Zlatan Ibrahimović netting twice for the Swedes.

“It’s not worth thinking about (Italy),” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. “It’s important that we concentrate on beating Turkey.”

Italy’s forward Federico Chiesa (L) challenges Switzerland’s defender Ricardo Rodriguez during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group C football match between Italy and Switzerland on November 12, 2021 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Akberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

Other matchups

Also in the 12-team draw, Scotland will face Ukraine at home, and the winner will play at Wales or Austria in the final of their bracket.

Russia will host Poland for the right to face Sweden or the Czech Republic in their bracket final. Russia or Poland will host the final.

Scotland looks to end a 24-year wait to play at the World Cup while Wales’ only appearance was in 1958.

“At the moment, the way the team is playing, the confidence the boys have got, we would be happy to play anyone, anywhere,” said Scotland coach Steve Clarke, whose team has won six straight since September.

However, Ukraine won at Hampden Park in June, in the Euro 2020 round of 16 against Sweden, and went unbeaten through a World Cup qualifying group won by France.

Scotland players celebrate as they leave the pitch after the FIFA World Cup 2022 Group F qualification football match between Scotland and Denmark at Hampden Park in Glasgow on November 15, 2021. (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

Sweden will not have Ibrahimović for its semifinal against the Czechs. The 40-year-old forward has a one-game ban for getting yellow cards in the qualifying group.

“We already did it last time (in 2018) and we of course (know) that we can do it again,” said Sweden coach Janne Andersson.

The six playoff semifinals will be played as single-leg games March 24. The three finals are played five days later.

The three winners will complete Europe’s entry of 13 nations in the 32-team lineup in Qatar.

FIFA will make the tournament draw on April 1 in Doha.

The European playoffs feature the 10 teams who finished second in their qualifying groups along with two teams — Austria and the Czechs — who won Nations League groups last year.

Also, FIFA said Qatar will host the intercontinental playoff in June that will decide the last two qualifiers for the tournament.

Intercontinental draw

The intercontinental draw paired the team from Asia against the team from South America, and a team from North American region CONCACAF against Oceania’s representative.

Those qualifying campaigns are still being played.

The winners of the two single-leg games on June 13-14 will complete the 32-team World Cup lineup.

The intercontinental playoff was originally scheduled for March 2022 as two-leg, home and away series. The games were pushed back as the global qualifying program stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Canadiens @ Sabres Top Six Minutes: Just send Norlinder home already – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

  • Olofsson, Dahlin, Lehkonen, and Norlinder – Go Frölunda!

First Period

  • Thompson scores, from a Lehkonen turnover in Montreals zone, followed by some defence miscues. Here we go, again…
  • Montembeault with a brain fart, he has to scramble to make a fantastic save to keep the score at one down.
  • Post – Girgensons almost scores out of nothing.
  • Josh Andersson scores! Game is tied at one.
  • Toffoli goes down, but controls the puck and gets a good shot off.
  • Armia, then Caufield with giveaways in their own end.

Second Period

  • The Second period has started, not sure Montreal knows that. They barely get out of their own zone.
  • Olofsson gets in all alone on Montembeault, who somehow saves without knowing where the puck is.
  • It’s all Buffalo.
  • Dvorak with a sneaky move, Tokarski saves it after some initial problems.
  • Petry joins the attack, good moves, but drops the puck. Three-on-two the other way and Eakin makes it 2-1 Sabres.
  • Double power kill for Montreal.
  • Okposo gets like 15 chances, and scores on one of them. 3-1, blue.
  • Dvorak into the boards, awkwardly getting up.
  • … and a penalty to Montreal. Savard to the sin-bin.
  • Montreal kills off that penalty.
  • Norlinder TOI after the second period – 5:55. Montreal, and Marc Bergevin, seems to see it as a weakness to send him back to SHL.

Third Period

  • Gallagher-Evans-Lehkonen kickstarts the third period. No goal but a really good shift.
  • Almost Dvorak.
  • 4-1, Thompson.
  • Another break for Buffalo, Montembeault saves.
  • Chaos, utterly chaos in their own end.
  • This is a team without any confidence; no-one, absolutely no-one wants the puck on their stick.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Someone has to win that game

2) You can’t say the Canadiens’ special teams haven’t been productive this season

1) One of the players is going to let this slip some night

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One of Italy or Portugal will miss World Cup after qualifying draw – Sportsnet.ca

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ZURICH — European champion Italy and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were drawn in the same World Cup qualifying playoffs bracket Friday, meaning at least one of them will miss next year’s tournament in Qatar.

Italy will face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semifinal next March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot in the World Cup.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup — losing in the playoffs to Sweden — and now will likely have to beat Ronaldo and Portugal to avoid missing the tournament for a second straight time. Portugal has always qualified during Ronaldo’s career. He first played at the 2006 World Cup.

Also in the 12-team draw, Scotland will face Ukraine at home, and the winner will play at Wales or Austria in the final of their bracket.

Russia will host Poland for the right to face Sweden or the Czech Republic in their bracket final. Russia or Poland will host the final.

The six playoff semifinals will be played as single-leg elimination games March 24. The three finals are played five days later.

The three winners will complete Europe’s entry of 13 nations in the 32-team lineup in Qatar.

FIFA will make the tournament draw on April 1 in Doha.

The playoffs feature the 10 teams who finished second in their qualifying groups along with two teams — Austria and the Czechs — who won Nations League groups last year.

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