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CNN invited Brett Favre on to discuss kids playing tackle football, then proceeded to grill, berate him about vaccines


'Have you been vaccinated?'

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

NFL legend Brett Favre appeared on CNN to discuss the risks associated with kids playing tackle football, but the network couldn't bear to let the former quarterback leave before grilling him over his stance on vaccines.

What happened?

Favre was making the rounds on the media circuit Tuesday, warning parents about the dangers of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries, when he stopped by CNN.

During the appearance, the Hall of Famer, joined by the Concussion Legacy Foundation founder Chris Nowinski, encouraged parents not to let children younger than 14 play tackle football in order to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with the disease.

But CNN anchor Kate Bolduan, it would seem, had ulterior motives for inviting Favre on her show. After engaging in a discussion about CTE for roughly four minutes, Bolduan transitioned into discussing vaccine hesitancy among NFL players.

"Why do you think there is such a struggle among some athletes — especially when people look to them as role models — when it comes to the COVID vaccine?" the anchor asked Favre.

Favre answered by arguing that there is still a "great deal of uncertainty" around the vaccines, noting that "you hear one thing one day and you hear something totally different the next."

He added that the emergency use authorization granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not exactly the lengthy human trial usually required by the agency that many would prefer to review before getting jabbed.

"We're sort of the human trial, if you will, and I think some people are frightened by that," he said.

What happened next?

That answer was obviously not good enough for Bolduan, who proceeded to claim that there isn't conflicting information and that the vaccine is "safe, effective, and needed" and is a matter of public health.

"Would you urge your current players to get the vaccine? Have you been vaccinated?" she then asked point-blank.

When Favre responded that he'd "rather not say one way or the other" and that it's not his place to say whether others should get vaccinated, Bolduan's eyes lit up in shock. The quarterback went on to note that concerned individuals ought to consult a trusted expert and then make the decision for themselves.

"[So] you don't trust the vaccines?" Bolduan interpreted Favre's remarks to mean.

At that point, Nowinski jumped in to try and steer the conversation back to CTE, but his effort was fruitless.

Bolduan closed the segment by stating that "every health official from the top down, from local doctors to the government, to the best scientists in America and beyond, have said that coronavirus vaccines are safe and the only way to make it out of this pandemic."

She then thanked both guests for coming on to talk about CTE, which she called an important issue, "just as is the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccines."

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