If Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and slugger extraordinaire Ryan Braun is having a difficult time dealing with his recent suspension because of his use of performance enhancing drugs, I can’t imagine what Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers – one of Braun’s best professional athlete friends and business partner – is dealing with at this point.
“Shocked and disappointed” were the words that came out of Aaron Rodgers’ mouth today when asked about the situation surrounding his “friend.”
Not only does Rodgers go into the first day of the Packers training camp with football on his mind, but he has this distraction that we’re sure he hopes goes away sometime soon.
But when you’re dealing with friendships, this is something that the two will have to deal with for years, if not the rest of their lives.
Here’s what Rodgers had to say:
“He looked me in the eye on multiple occassions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true. I don’t regret backing a friend up. Obviously, in hindsight a more measured approach would be a better course of action. I definitely believe in forgiveness and moving forward. He has a tough task in front of him moving forward with his career.”
And so does Rodgers.
What will be most difficult for Rodgers in coming to grips with the entire situation is being let down by a friend, especially after Rodgers stood so staunchly behind Braun – going so far as to take Major League Baseball to task on social media, as well as “betting” his entire year’s salary on Braun being innocent.
Here’s more from Rodgers:
“So, it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend, but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, really baseball fans. It doesn’t feel great being lied to like that and I’m disappointed in the way it all went down.”
Not only is Rodgers a friend, but he is a business partner as the two work together in the restaurant business. Rodgers wasn’t sure how that relationship was to pan out.
“That’s yet to be determined … as far as the business goes, right now I’m focused on football and I have people who can help me with those issues.”
How does Rodgers feel about the bottom line friendship that they’ve struck over the years?
Here is how he responded before asking to move on to another topic: “I was disappointed in the way it went down … I trusted him. That’s the thing that probably hurts the most.”
Right now it most likely sucks to be Ryan Braun, but even more importantly, it’s not all rosy for Rodgers as he heads into a season where he is near the top of the list of quarterbacks – not only in salary, but in skill.
Our hope is that this is a short distraction, that it doesn’t continue to haunt him as time moves on.