Aaron Rodgers apparently no longer in running to be Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s VP pick

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 28: Aaron Rodgers #8 of the New York Jets looks on on from the sideline prior to an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers' political career appears to be short-lived. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) (Cooper Neill via Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers' run as a potential vice president candidate lasted about three days, but what a three days it was.

On Tuesday, the New York Jets quarterback was reported to be on the short list to be the running mate of conspiracy theory-driven fringe candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., with confirmation from the candidate himself.

On Wednesday, Rodgers was reported to have told two people, including a CNN reporter, that he believed the Sandy Hook shooting to be a "government inside job." On Thursday, he posted a curiously worded tweet saying the massacre was "an absolute tragedy."

And on Friday, a video was posted of Kennedy himself saying he had made his VP pick and "It’s not any of the people they’ve been talking about," which seemingly eliminated Rodgers, whom a lot of people were talking about.

Mediaite finally reported Saturday that Kennedy plans to announce Nicole Shanahan, a California-based attorney and entrepreneur, as his running mate with an announcement planned for March 26 in Oakland. The outlet confirmed Rodgers to be out of the running, with a claim that the prospect of his selection "prompted concerns among donors to the campaign."

Obviously, those reported concerns — as well as the whole week in general — could be interpreted in a number of ways. We don't know how much the CNN report on Rodgers' alleged Sandy Hook beliefs and his subsequent response had a bearing on his candidacy, nor do we know how serious the whole thing was in the first place.

At the very least, the reports certainly drew attention for the Kennedy campaign, which is something Rodgers — a well-established Kennedy supporter — will be happy with no matter how likely he was to actually become the running mate.

The whole episode seems over, though, and Rodgers can now claim the story to have been as serious as he wishes it to be. In the meantime, he can continue to prepare for a pivotal season with the New York Jets after missing all but four snaps of last season with a torn Achilles tendon.

A political campaign would have obviously got in the way of Rodgers' football career. Even if this whole thing was just a publicity stunt that inadvertently led to Rodgers being painted as a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist, it didn't do much to quell speculation the 40-year-old is preparing for his retirement, especially when the Jets recently signed veteran Tyrod Taylor for the not insignificant price of $18 million across two years.