Disappointed Aaron Rodgers: I was 'lied to' by Ryan Braun
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers was lied to by Ryan Braun and the Green Bay Packers quarterback isn't happy about it.
Speaking publicly about Braun's 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball for the first time Friday afternoon, Rodgers was forthright with his feelings about the person he had considered a good friend.
"I was shocked, I really was, just like I know many of you were," Rodgers said in the Packers locker room. "I was backing up a friend who looked at me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations, said they weren't true. It's disappointing, not only for myself as a friend but obviously for Wisconsin sports fans, Brewers fans, Major League Baseball fans.
"It doesn't feel great being lied to like that, and I'm disappointed about the way it all went down."
Rodgers added that he has spoken with Braun since the suspension was issued by MLB, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the two of them are friends anymore.
"I was disappointed by the way it went down," Rodgers said when directly asked about his friendship with Braun. "I trusted him, and that's the thing that probably hurts the most."
Rodgers and Braun also have a business relationship, sharing ownership in Milwaukee-area restaurants called 8 Twelve MVP Bar and Grill.
Rodgers was asked if Braun's lies to him would affect their relationship, including on the business side.
"That's yet to be determined," Rodgers said.
No public figure backed Braun as much as Rodgers did when the Milwaukee Brewers slugger successfully appealed his initial 50-game suspension in February 2012. At the time, Rodgers described Braun as his "buddy" and as "an innocent man."
In some ways, Rodgers would like to have a do-over on those comments that he posted on Twitter, which included calling people "idiots" who questioned that Braun got off on a technicality. Rodgers even responded to one Twitter follower by saying "I'd put my salary next year on it" that Braun wasn't using performance-enhancing drugs.
"I don't regret backing a friend up," Rodgers said Friday. "Obviously, in hindsight, a more measured approach next time would obviously be a better course of action. People make mistakes. I definitely believe in forgiveness and moving forward. Obviously, he has a tough task in front of him moving forward with his career, on and off the field.
"As far as the business goes, right now I'm focused on football, and I have people who can help me work with those type of issues."
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