Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who offered outspoken support for Brewers outfielder and close friend Ryan Braun when he initially denied taking performance enhancing drugs, said on Friday he was shocked and disappointed in the wake of Braun essentially admitting he used PEDs by accepting a 65-game suspension handed out this week by Major League Baseball.
“I was shocked, I really was, just like many of you were,” Rodgers told reporters in his first appearance at training camp. “I was backing up a friend. He looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true.
“So, it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend, but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, really baseball fans,” he said. “It doesn't feel great being lied to like that and I'm disappointed in the way it all went down.”
Rodgers said he has talked to Braun since the suspension was handed down, and the quarterback said he wasn’t sure whether he could continue a business partnership with Braun. The two own a restaurant together.
“That's yet to be determined,” Rodgers said. “I don't regret backing a friend up. Obviously in hindsight a more measured approach would obviously 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, 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 with those issues,” he said.
Asked if he still considered Braun a friend, Rodgers said:
“I was disappointed in the way it went down. ... I trusted him. That's the thing that probably hurts the most.”
Sounds like that friendship is over.