Rodgers, who was widely criticized last year for misleading the public about his COVID-19 vaccination status over the summer, won the Associated Press MVP award at the NFL Honors ceremony on Thursday.
Sirius XM radio host Joe Madison called out the honor on Twitter on Friday, comparing Rodgers to Kaepernick, who famously began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games in 2016 to protest racial injustice.
“Aaron Rodgers gets rewarded with MVP even after lying to the entire country,” he wrote. “Colin Kaepernick will probably never play in the NFL again for speaking the truth.”
Aaron Rodgers gets rewarded with MVP even after lying to the entire country.
Colin Kaepernick will probably never play in the NFL again for speaking the truth.
— Joe Madison (@MadisonSiriusXM) February 11, 2022
The AP MVP award is decided by 50 members of the media who closely cover the NFL, not the league itself. But the honor nevertheless drove home the disparity in how the league has treated Kaepernick and Rodgers.
The NFL – which has a long history of race and discrimination issues within the league – has been widely accused of blackballing Kaepernick for his peaceful protests at games. The activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has remained unsigned by any NFL team since he became a free agent after the 2016 season.
Rodgers drew backlash after it came out in November that he was, in fact, unvaccinated after he gave a deceptive response about his vaccination status at a press conference in August.
When asked by a reporter if he was vaccinated, Rodgers replied, “Yeah, I’m immunized.”
The quarterback has also been criticized for spreading unfounded claims about COVID-19 vaccines, touting alternative treatment methods for the virus that have not been approved by the FDA and for not wearing a mask at press conferences.
The NFL has been accused of punishing Rodgers too mildly over the vaccination status debacle.
The league, which fined the Green Bay Packers $300,000, fined Rodgers $14,650 for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. The discipline was negotiated between the league and the NFL Players Association union, the AP reported.
Rodgers was not suspended for his actions, though some people thought he should have been at the time.
If Aaron Rodgers is not vaccinated but has not been following protocols for unvaccinated players, he needs to be suspended by the league for at least a couple of games. https://t.co/eCdcLnbV2G
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) November 3, 2021
And why is Aaron Rodgers not indefinitely suspended? White privilege? https://t.co/2DvwZA3qvu
— Melissa (@Me1rose6) December 3, 2021
Aaron Rodgers should be suspended
Not for lying, but for not following covid protocol for the unvaccinated, endangering media, coaches and other players
Packers also need to be investigated for what they knew and allowed him to do
— Domo (@Domo8186) November 5, 2021
Aaron Rodgers did not get suspended three games because he is the face of the league. Why would the NFL do that lol
— snacks (@YellowSnwman) December 2, 2021
Per @CBSMornings Aaron Rodgers will likely NOT be suspended due to the union and NFL rules. He’ll probably play next week if he tests negative.
White privilege wins again.
— @SaysDana 😷 🤓 🕷🕸 (@SaysDana) November 8, 2021
Now with a fourth AP MVP under Rodgers’ belt, other Twitter users this week have called attention to Kaepernick, who they argue has been treated differently by the league.
History will remember Aaron Rodgers as a man who threw a ball.
History will remember Colin Kaepernick as a man who changed the country for the betterment of tens of millions.
No one will care who this year’s MVP was in a month. No one will forget Colin kneeling.
— Tony Wyman (@tonywyman21) February 12, 2022
Colin Kaepernick made some sanctimonious White people feel “uncomfortable” by exercising his right to free speech. Aaron Rogers restored their sense of superiority by exercising his right to free speech.
— Steve Cox (@stevepcox) February 12, 2022
So, Colin Kaepernick is still persona non grata in the #NFL, but they just gave mediocre-season and anti-vaxx liar, Aaron Rodgers, another MVP award, despite endangering his team this last year, and spreading Covid misinformation...you know...something the NFL takes SERIOUSLY🙄
— A Light in the Dark💉💉😷🖖🦸♀️🦸♂️🥷🥋👊🇺🇸 (@CagedTigersRMad) February 11, 2022
Aaron Rodgers is allowed to run his mouth, but Colin Kaepernick wasn't.
Retweet if you think Colin Kaepernick is an American Patriot.
— Jessica Flores (@jessicaflres) February 6, 2022
They ruined Colin Kaepernick career over starting the “take a knee” movement and demonstrating racism and social injustice.
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers was named the NFL’s MVP for doing nothing but spreading anti-vax rhetoric and false information.
Sick and disgusting.#NFLHonors
— Wirjil (@Wirjil) February 11, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.