GREEN BAY, Wis. — From one MVP to another. From one friend to another.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers immediately came to the defense of his pal Ryan Braun after the Thursday afternoon announcement that the Milwaukee Brewers left fielder had won his appeal of a 50-game Major League Baseball suspension.
Rodgers took to Twitter just minutes after Braun issued a statement that he would not have to serve the suspension MLB initially had given him for a drug test that he reportedly failed.
Article continues below ...
“MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man,” Rodgers tweeted. “Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free.”
He followed up immediately with the tweet: “When its guilty until proven innocent, all u need are the facts.”
Rodgers included the hashtag #howsthecrowmlb, and several times added #exonerated in his posts on Twitter.
“I’ll let my buddy take it from here,” Rodgers added in his next two tweets. “All u idiots talking about technicality open up for some crow too. See if Espn gets pressured not to.. …let the people hear the truth. Should get interesting.”
Rodgers, who won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award in 2011, never has been one to hide his thoughts from the public. His comments after the recent Pro Bowl that his NFC teammates should be “embarrassed” by their efforts not only generated headlines but also led NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reconsider the game altogether.
Braun and Rodgers, the two biggest sports stars in Wisconsin, have been friends for several years. Last season, after Rodgers threw out the first pitch at a Brewers game, he talked about his relationship with Braun.
“We just met a couple years ago,” Rodgers said last June. “I came down to a game and was able to get on the field and got to meet him. Been a big fan since he got to the team. I’m a fan of Wisconsin sports. This is home for me nine months out of the year. I pull for the Brewers. So it’s been fun to pull for them and get to know Ryan.
“He’s a California guy like myself. He’s two weeks older than I am, and we’ve really become good friends.”
With Braun winning his appeal on a 2-1 vote through arbitration, the 2011 National League MVP will not miss any games in the upcoming 2012 season.
“I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision,” Braun said in a statement released by his public relations agency. “It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.
“I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide.”