Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers described the reported tumult between him and his new head coach Matt LaFleur as “fake news” in an interview Tuesday.
As training camps opened last week, Rodgers took issue with joint practices with other teams while LaFleur said he had no problem with such events. Many took the differences of opinion between the two to mean they may not connect with each other during the season.
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However, in an interview with former NFL fullback John Kuhn on Packers.com, Rodgers dismissed the reported “outside noise” as “clickbait.”
“It’s fake news, John,” Rodgers said. “That’s the media cycle these days. Unfortunately, the media — other than obviously yourself — there’s a lack of integrity, I think. There’s a rush to put up headlines that are clickbait because the ad revenue is based on the amount of visits you get to your website.”
He added: “So instead of putting in a title that aptly fits the forthcoming article, it’s more lucrative to post something that’s going to generate the most commotion so that your site or your story gets the most hits possible. And when you’re in a really low news cycle like in June and July when there’s not much football going on, that’s the kind of stuff that comes out. We don’t need to spend any time talking about it because it’s complete ridiculousness.”
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Rodgers also spoke on the issues in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“A lot of these sites you have like eight words to describe what the article’s about,” he said. “What are they gonna do? They’re gonna put names and words that’s gonna draw the most attention to it. And that’s what I was bringing to light. I don’t think I was speaking out of turn or ripping on anybody specifically. But it is what it is. That’s the way that we ingest our data. It’s so quick. We’re, ourselves, are flying through, you know, whether it’s tweets or social media filters or online sites, and we’re just looking for like buzzwords. ‘Oh, oh, that looks fun, I’m gonna do that.’ Well, they know that.”
He continued: “The most expensive commodity is not oil anymore. It’s data. They know what they’re doing. They’re mining that data. And they’re figuring out what people preferences, code words, colors, different things to get people to click on their stuff. Because the more clicks they get, the more ad revenue. And the more ad revenue, the more the salary, you know, that the company’s making. And that’s the way that the whole news cycle works. I’m just tired of being put in that news cycle. Because I’ve been saying the same thing over and over. Matt and I, it’s gonna be a relationship that grows over time. We’re having a blast. We’re friends. Ton of communication. And we’re having a great time.”
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Rodgers and LaFleur are entering their first season together. The Packers hired LaFleur as their head coach in January replacing Joe Philbin, who took over for Mike McCarthy in the middle of the 2018 season.