Aaron Rodgers blasted the ‘fake news’ surrounding the start date of his darkness retreat as he revealed the spiritual experience has been planned for four months.
It had been reported by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport that the four-day retreat was supposed to begin Monday but that was swiftly dispelled after Pat McAfee announced that the quarterback would be appearing on his show Tuesday.
Rodgers, 39, is a weekly guest on the popular YouTube show and did his regular guest spot Tuesday where he insisted no one in his inner circle had discussed his planned retreat with the media.
‘This thing has been planned for four months and it was always the same date – the always the end of this week,’ he said. ‘Anyone with knowledge to the opposite of that, is fake news.
‘Let me reiterate one more time. There’s an inner circle, right? And in my inner circle, nobody talks to Ian Rapoport, to Adam Schefter or to any of those people. So, if you’re one of those people talking to those people, it’s a great reminder for you, you’re not in the inner circle.’
Aaron Rodgers blasted the ‘fake news’ surrounding the start date of his darkness retreat
Host McAfee joked it was a ‘tough Tuesday’ for anyone who thought they had been in the inner circle only to be proven wrong by Rodgers’ admission.
‘If anybody is out there saying stuff or if they’re juts making it up, which are both likely, just stop with the fake news,’ Rodgers added.
‘I speak for myself and I will continue to do that. I’m not upset about it. It’s classic media, trying to be first, not trying to be right.’
He later added: ‘I think Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport are really good at their jobs but when it comes to me they don’t know s***.
‘[…] I’ve had this planned on the books for four months for the same time. And when someone like that goes on and says something that’s not true, it creates a story that’s bulls***.’
McAfee tried to press Rodgers on the exact day he would be plunging into the darkness. But the Packers quarterback seemed keen to dodge the line of questioning as he remained vague by repeatedly saying it would be ‘the end of the week.
Rodgers is unvaccinated and appeared to touch upon his controversial choice as he insisted people question everything people say, including former Chief Medical Advisor to the President of United States, Anthony Fauci.
‘Let me just remind everyone out there listening, when somebody says something, whether it’s Ian Rapoport or Adam Schefter, or Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Anthony Fauci, Joe Rogan, myself, anybody, question it, if it’s legitimate it can stand up to questioning,’ Rodgers continued.
‘So question things and then contemplate them in your own time and figure out what seems most likely to be true based on your own intuition and feel and conglomeration and fact.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport had reported that the four-day retreat was supposed to begin Monday
The quarterback remained vague by repeatedly saying it would be ‘the end of the week
‘But no one in my inner circle talks to those people. I don’t talk to those people, I don’t have their numbers, I’ve never met them.’
WHAT IS A DARKNESS RETREAT?
According to the website Hermitage Retreat – it is not known if that is the company Rodgers has gone with – a darkness retreat is ‘an unparalleled experience in intense seclusion, in which the practitioner is deprived of all light and sensory distractions, and thus plunges into a deep witnessing awareness of the mind, and eventually experiences the perception of the inner light of pure consciousness.
’Retreating in complete darkness is a practice common to many of the ancient and contemporary spiritual traditions across the world.
‘From the monks and lamas in Tibet, to the Kogi Mamos in Colombia; the ancient Egyptians and the mystics of 15th Century France, Dark Retreats have provided revelation and illumination to countless practitioners who have sought the inner light.’
Each request is considered individually to participate in a darkness request. Participants get two vegan meals per day.
The darkness retreat, which reportedly deprives the user ‘of all light and sensory distractions’ in order to plunge ‘into a deep witnessing awareness of the mind’, is a new experience for Rodgers.
‘I haven’t done this specific darkness retreat before but I’ve done many meditation and yoga retreats to stimulate my mind,’ he said.
He also suggested that he was going to film himself during the retreat, hinting that there could be some footage.
Rodgers was targeted with social media criticism back in November, when it was revealed that the Packers QB was unvaccinated and infected with Covid-19.
The controversy began before the 2021 season, when Rodgers was asked if he was vaccinated, and instead told reporters that he was ‘immunized’ against Covid-19.
What Rodgers didn’t explain at the time was that he did not receive the vaccination, but rather, a doctor-prescribed therapeutic treatment aimed at bolstering his resistance to the virus.
That meaningful distinction was clarified in late 2021, when Rodgers tested positive for coronavirus and was subsequently required to quarantine for 10 days — the minimum amount of time an unvaccinated player is asked to quarantine, per league rules at the time (the NFL has since reduced quarantine time).
After initially blaming the media and the ‘woke mob’ for the misunderstanding, Rodgers told radio host and former NFL punter McAfee on November 9 that he wanted to apologize ‘to anybody who felt misled.’
Rodgers has previously spoken about spirituality and openly discussed his use of ayahuasca in the offseasons in 2020 and 2022.
The Packers failed to make the playoffs after a defeat on the final day of the regular season to the Detroit Lions on January 8.
Rodgers could be traded by the Packers if he chooses to play on for at least another season
Rodgers said immediately after that game that he would need time to consider what comes next for him and it has since emerged that the Packers would be willing to trade him if he does play on.
It was thought that Rodgers intended to use the retreat to come to a decision on his NFL future but he insisted the experience was to reflect on life in general.
He continued to keep his cards close to his chest on his footballing career as McAfee’s co-host, AJ, asked him if would like to continue his guest appearances on the show next season.
AJ suggested doing the guest spot on Tuesdays again as it was the Packers’ offday. But Rodgers refused to give anything away, simply responding that they will ‘cross that bridge when we get to it.’