Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has yet to react to the news that his friend, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, has been suspended for the remainder of the season for violating Major League Baseball rules governing performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodgers once Tweeted the word “exonerated” in support of Braun, whom he owns a Milwaukee restaurant with.
That was two years ago when an arbitrator ruled in favor of Braun on an appeal of his suspension.
Now, it's got to hit Rodgers hard, who also Tweeted that he would bet his entire $8.5 million salary last season if Braun was guilty of the allegations.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” Braun said in a statement. “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”
Back in June, Rodgers told a reporter that he stands behind Braun.
“Ryan’s a good friend and I care about him a lot as a person,” Rodgers said. “He’s a great person, and I stand with my friend,”
Back in December, Rodgers told ESPN Wisconsin: “Ryan and I are good buddies, probably my best athlete friend. And we keep in touch obviously throughout the year. I spend a lot of time with him. I was very surprised the news came out the way it did. You would think that there would be some sort of confidentiality surrounding the situation, because he is appealing it. I 100 percent support Ryan and believe in him and it’s not going to affect our friendship in the least. I’m 100 percent supporting him and behind him and believe in everything that he says. I don’t know exactly all that’s out there, but I just am trusting that my good friend has not been using anything illegal. And I’m very confident that’s the case, because I know how much he cares about the integrity of the game and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that.”
Now, the conversation has changed. It will be interesting to hear what Rodgers has to say, if anything, about this situation involving his disgraced friend.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun