Aaron Rodgers — superstar quarterback of the Green Bay Packers — continues to cause fits among leftists far and wide.
From the moment he called out hypocrite politicians who don't obey their own COVID-19 mandates a year ago to his more recent takedowns of the "woke mob" and "cancel culture" — particularly with regard to vaccines — and his revelation that he consulted with podcaster Joe Rogan for COVID-19 treatment after contracting the virus a few months ago, the free-thinking Rodgers has been rising fast on the left's most-hated list.
And on Monday night, he gave them another reason to froth at the mouth.
Rodgers was a guest on Monday Night Football's "ManningCast" — during which brothers and ex-NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning discuss the game at hand — and the subject of what Rodgers reads came up.
The quarterback, who led the Packers to the top NFC playoff position with their Sunday win over the Minnesota Vikings, told the Manning brothers he reads "a lot of French poetry" and then pointed at a bookshelf behind him and said he's "got 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand over here."
Rand and particularly "Atlas Shrugged" increasingly over the last decade or so have become favorite targets of the militant left, who say the author and her famous book espouse a me-first ideology. But fans counter that Rand's writings inspire and uphold individual freedom.
And just like clockwork, leftists jumped all over Rodgers for what's on his reading list.
Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist Marcus Hayes appeared to lead the charge as he mocked the QB:
The Palmer Report offered the following brutal take:
Others followed suit in bashing the quarterback:
- "Pre-college, I had an [opportunity] to read Atlas Shrugged, write an essay, and have a chance at $10,000. I thought, 'easy money!' Until I started to read it. Long story short: I took out college loans instead of subjecting myself to any more of that drivel," one commenter said.
- "The least surprising news ever is that smug, faux smart guy Aaron Rodgers’ favorite book is Atlas Shrugged," another user noted. "What a tool."
- "Bragging about 'Atlas Shrugged' is something emotionally crippled undergraduates do, which....explains a lot about Aaron Rodgers, who is of course in his late 30s," another commenter said.
- "It's been very difficult watching Aaron Rodgers, my all-time favorite player, embrace everything I loathe. But Atlas Shrugged? Trade him. F*** it," another user declared.
But not every observer agreed with the left-wing talking points.
- Conservative commentator and radio host Jason Rantz shot back at Hayes: "If only Aaron Rodgers had some Ibram X. Kendi book, woke Twitter wouldn’t pretend to be upset."
- Brigitte Gabriel, another conservative figure, remarked: "Just incredible, Aaron Rodgers bragged about having Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' on his bookshelf. This man is a PATRIOT!"
- Jim Hanson, author and executive director of America Matters, gave "kudos" to Rodgers: "Atlas Shrugged is ponderous but everyone should read it. It's a brilliant contrast of statism v. individualism. It perfectly captures the dismal failure of leftist rule & points to a choice: Live for the state or yourself. I chose me."
- And John Ziegler — senior columnist for Mediaite and a self-described "conservative/libertarian" — mocked the left's reaction to Rodgers: "Actually, Atlas Shrugged really DOES explain everything ... Damn, Aaron Rodgers really triggered the woke crowd, tonight!"