One NFL MVP voter who recently revealed he wouldn't be voting for Aaron Rodgers admitted on Wednesday that he made a mistake discussing who he wasn't voting for and why.
On 670 The Score, longtime Chicago-based football reporter Hub Arkush said he regretted his decision to say that he wasn't voting for Rodgers and why, which he did on the same radio station the night before.
“I made a big mistake last night,” Arkush said via ProFootballTalk.
Traditionally, MVP voters don't say who they're voting for until after the results are announced. Arkush didn't technically violate that, since he talked about who he wasn't voting for, but he knows he violated the spirit of the tradition.
“It’s on me,” Arkush said. “I screwed up. ... All you can do is own it, and I own it.”
Why isn't Arkush voting for Rodgers?
Rodgers is having a stellar season on the field, but for Arkush, that alone isn't enough to make him the most valuable player.
“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,” Arkush said on Tuesday via ProFootballTalk. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he is clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady. So from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not gonna be my choice. Do I think he’s gonna win it? Probably. A lot of voters don’t approach it the way I do, but others do, who I’ve spoken to. But one of the ways we get to keep being voters is we’re not allowed to say who we are voting for until after the award has been announced. I’m probably pushing the envelope by saying who I’m not voting for. But we’re not really supposed to reveal our votes.”
Arkush makes a decent argument about Rodgers not being the clear MVP, but he's also tying his voting decision to Rodgers' behavior off the field. He misled the public about being vaccinated, claimed he was a victim of "cancel culture" after everyone found out the truth about his vaccination status, and publicly pushed unsafe and unproven "treatments" for COVID-19.
Arkush defended his decision to consider off-the-field factors by pointing out that voters aren't given a rubric or any guidance on what "most valuable player" means, so he feels free to use his own judgment when casting his vote.
“There’s no guidelines,” Arkush said. “We are told to pick the guy who we think is most valuable to his team. And I don’t think it says anywhere, ‘strictly on the field,’ although I do think he hurt his team on the field by the way he acted off the field. They’re gonna get the No. 1 seed anyway, but what if the difference had come down to the Chiefs game, where he lied about being vaccinated, and they ended up getting beat?”
In the end, Arkush said he couldn't square Rodgers' off the field activity with what he thinks an MVP should be.
“I just think that the way he’s carried himself is inappropriate,” Arkush said. “I think he’s a bad guy, and I don’t think a bad guy can be the most valuable guy at the same time.”
Arkush said he could "guarantee" that he wouldn't be the only voter who won't be putting Rodgers on their ballot. But after the backlash he got, he will almost certainly be the only voter talking about who he or she voted for before the result is officially announced.
Rodgers responds, calls Arkush 'a bum'
Rodgers was asked about Arkush and his comments during his media availability on Wednesday, and to no one's surprise, he let loose.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 5, 2022
Aaron Rodgers on Hub Arkush: “He’s a bum … an absolute bum.”
Rodgers thinks he should be excluded for voting for MVP because of his predisposition about him as a person.
“His problem is I’m not vaccinated” and added if that’s the case then make it “the most vaccinated player”” pic.twitter.com/tPXlST7JCU
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) January 5, 2022
Rodgers believes that Arkush should no longer have an MVP vote. It's not known whether the AP will take any action against Arkush.