Green Bay Packers

The Rodgers Tattoo Is An Exhausted Sociopathic Trope

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch (USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Rodgers got a tattoo last week. Take a look.

Ever since the great “retirement” fiasco of 2020, Rodgers has been under the microscope for each and everything he does. That’s not to say this attention has been unwarranted. Statistically speaking, Rodgers is one of the top-five greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He has also been prominently in the public eye after his high-profile trysts with Danica Patrick, Olivia Munn, and, most recently, Shailene Woodley. His life is a lightning rod for clicks from NFL fans nationwide.

So, obviously, making a lifelong commitment to a forearm tattoo isn’t something that is going to slip under the radar. The internet was ablaze with takes on this tattoo and what it could possibly mean. Take another look at the image above, and you’ll see that the tattoo has many intricacies, none of which are obviously explicable to any one person. There are constellations, a couple of lions, a fan, an ocean, some abstract crosshairs, and some other geometric designs that add to the overall aesthetic value.

Rodgers said on his Instagram post that his tattoo has “a deep and meaningful story and connection.” I get it. That’s sort of the initial stigma with tattoos — they have to mean something. Otherwise, they’re just some random junk on your body that you’re absolutely going to regret later in life. This is the tattoo wisdom that’s beaten into teens from people too old to understand the appeal.

I got my first tattoo when I was 18, and boy howdy was it a complete amalgamation of nonsense. Every single part of it had to mean something to me. It was a pair of drumsticks, my grandma’s initials, a treble clef, and the violin music for the “Song of Storms” from The Legend of Zelda wrapped around my arm. It took a while before I finally admitted that it looked stupid. People change. I got it covered up five years later.

Ultimately, the conclusion I came to is this: The No. 1 person who should approve of any tattoo is the person getting it. The message is corny, sure, but it also does not need to be overcomplicated. It harms the creative process when people are pigeon-holed into a specific archetype of thinking. If Rodgers got a tattoo that means something to him and that he thinks is cool, then by all means he as an individual should be entitled to that satisfaction, free from ridicule.

However, Rodgers absolutely deserves to get clowned for this tattoo. Not for the tattoo itself, what the tattoo represents, or its connection to him, but the context through which he has used this newfound pseudo-intellectual persona to troll the public.

We are not too far removed from the infamous “I have been immunized” line, which was intentionally used by Rodgers to both save face and intentionally mislead NFL fans as he refused to get a scientifically proven vaccination against COVID-19. Rodgers then proceeded to gaslight those who believed he was vaccinated, spread misinformation about the effectiveness of vaccines, and falsely praise the applications of ivermectin, a de-wormer used for farm animals and livestock. A public endorsement of fellow conspiracist Joe Rogan all but ensured the fall of Rodgers from a relatable franchise pillar to that of a kooky celebrity who looks down on the peasants below him.

There is a distinct irony about the people who still go to bat for Rodgers, as those are the people he is intentionally trying to deceive. Rodgers boasted on The Pat McAfee Show about how he never actually read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand after advocating for it on live TV the night before. Rodgers has also claimed that people should not be looking to pro athletes for advice and that they are not pillars of wisdom that should be relied upon to influence life decisions, all while simultaneously using his platform to share his worldview. He’s not stupid. Rodgers knows he has the world on a string, and he is using that power to manipulate those who still listen to everything he says.

That being said, it is fair to make the assertion that Rodgers got a complicated, somewhat abstract tattoo because he knew that it would stir up attention. This is exactly the type of sociopathic behavior typical of the newest version of Rodgers. It keeps him in the headlines during the offseason, and allows him to continue donning the cloak of mystery that boldly proclaims, I know something that you don’t, and that sucks for you.

Everybody is entitled to their own opinions. What is becoming increasingly lost, however, is the notion that people must live with the consequences of their own actions. No matter how much he tries to run from it, Rodgers has earned the dark cloud that now follows him throughout the twilight of his NFL career. No amount of successes and holier-than-thou media sessions will take away from the self-sabotaging and selfish, divisive rhetoric he has spewed for the better part of the last three seasons. Rodgers has lost a great deal of support, and that has been entirely self-wrought.

The tattoo is cool. Let’s not get it twisted. It is important, though, to not gloss over the person behind it and the context for getting it at the time that he did. It is a visual manifestation of willful deceit, which is an apropos first tattoo for the reigning NFL MVP to get.

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