There are those who would be quite happy to see NFL star Aaron Rogers never mention the word “ayahuasca” again. They are unlikely to get their wish, however, as Rogers sat down with NFL reporter Erin Andrews for an interview that aired during the first FOX NFL Sunday of the 2022 season, and talked at length about ayahuasca.
In the segment, the two-time MVP Green Bay quarterback gives his Cliffs Notes version of ayahuasca for NFL Sunday’s prime time viewers. “It’s a plant, a combination of a couple plants actually,” says Rodgers. “The people of the Amazon have figured out a way to mix these two different plants to have a psychoactive experience.”
Rodgers goes on to say, “It’s not something that I recommend, It has to be something that calls you to it. It has to be done in the right set and the right setting with the right people involved. Every time that I have set, it’s been with deeply spiritual plant medicine teachers, shamans, maestros who have been doing this for decades. For me it’s been an exploration of self-love and dissolvement of the ego.”
Such a spiritual dude.
Aaron Rodgers and Ayahuasca
For over a thousand years, various indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin have consumed ayahuasca, which consists of two plants — Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis —brewed together as a tea. Often taken during ceremonies overseen by an experienced shaman or guide, the spiritual medicine drink’s popularity has now attracted the attention of celebrities like Rodgers.
In addition to Rodgers’ controversial refusal to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic, he now credits ayahuasca with his football success. “I did ayahuasca in 2020 and I won two MVPs,” Rodgers says in the interview with Andrews. “I don’t believe that it’s a coincidence. I don’t really believe in coincidences.”
Rodgers first spoke of his ayahuasca experience on the Aubry Marcus podcast, where he discussed past ayahuasca retreats he’d attended in Peru and Costa Rica. Rodgers’ revelation led to a few questions, namely: could Rogers’ actions could be considered a violation of the NFL’s drug policy? It was quickly determined that no, they could not. But the subject has continued to tantalize a public already predisposed to expecting odd stuff from Aaron Rogers. Seriously: he’s a weird guy.
But in the interview, he did suggest that his use of ayahuasca, at least in part, “allowed me to… have a greater love for the game that I play [and] greater love for my teammates.”
Hammering the point home, Rogers noted that he’d had “maybe my best season of my career in 2020” before following it up last year “with an even greater integration of a lot of those lessons.”
Prominent celebrities from Western culture adding ayahuasca to their lexicons raises concerns, both from a standpoint of scarcity as well as one of spiritual morality. Such are the pitfalls that must be considered with the increased commodification of indigenous rituals.
But for now, Aaron Rodgers has a football to throw.