Home Sports Travis Kelce’s ‘Mr Pfizer’ gig stirs debate about COVID vax messaging

Travis Kelce’s ‘Mr Pfizer’ gig stirs debate about COVID vax messaging

Travis Kelce’s ‘Mr Pfizer’ gig stirs debate about COVID vax messaging


Kansas Metropolis Chiefs star Travis Kelce has been getting additional display screen time as of late, however it’s not due to his dominant efficiency on the sphere or his rumored relationship with worldwide pop sensation Taylor Swift. 

The four-time First-Staff All-Professional tight finish not too long ago partnered up with pharmaceutical big Pfizer for a industrial selling the COVID-19 and flu vaccines. 

TRavis Kelce walks off the field

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs tight finish Travis Kelce, #87, on area after the sport at GEHA Discipline at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, Sept. 24, 2023. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Kelce’s involvement prompted New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been among the many most outspoken athletes to oppose the vaccine, to dub him “Mr. Pfizer.” 


The 2-time Tremendous Bowl champion didn’t seem to take situation with the nickname when he addressed the comment throughout a press convention final week, stating that in getting the vaccine, he was “preserving myself secure, preserving my household secure, the individuals on this constructing.” 

Nonetheless, past a confrontation between two of the NFL’s largest stars that the advert seemingly stirred, there may be an intentional messaging behind it. 

Christopher Morse, Ph.D, professor and chair of the Division of Communication at Bryant College, spoke to Fox Information Digital concerning the messaging surrounding the industrial and Pfizer’s choice to associate with one of many league’s largest names.  

Travis Kelce after Bears game

Travis Kelce, #87 of the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, celebrates after defeating the Chicago Bears at GEHA Discipline at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 24, 2023 in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri. (Cooper Neill/Getty Photographs)

“A part of the issue that lots of people who’re selling the vaccine or a number of the medical professionals who’re attempting to encourage individuals to get a booster or vaccination shot is that folks normally are simply drained,” Morse defined. 


“They’re uninterested in COVID. They’re uninterested in speaking about it. They spent a very long time having to change their way of life, then they had been instructed, ‘Okay, we’re good’ they usually went again to quote-unquote ‘Regular.’ Now they’re all of the sudden getting a message saying, ‘Properly, not fairly. We would such as you to form of decide it again up once more.’ And the issue with that’s individuals are going to be extremely resistant as a result of, , ‘I assumed it was performed. Why ought to I’ve to fret about it once more? I have never gotten COVID, no one I do know has gotten COVID. It appears to have gone within the background.’ So this concept of now I must be apprehensive about it once more — been there, performed that form of mentality.”

Typical promoting of the vaccine, or just like what the general public has seen previously, might be seen as ineffective greater than three years faraway from the beginning of the pandemic, Morse urged. 

“One of many methods that’s going to be best is utilizing ‘the carrot versus the stick’ mentality. Threatening, ‘You must do that or individuals will die. In case you do not do that will likely be occurring perpetually in a pandemic. You may by no means get again to regular.’ That will not work.”

Travis Kelce points

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs tight finish Travis Kelce. (AP Photograph/Ed Zurga, File)

Morse pointed to the benefit that the industrial that includes Kelce makes an attempt to painting, highlighting that the general public can get their COVID-19 vaccine once they go to get their flu shot – what Kelce calls “two issues without delay.”  


Morse additionally famous the worth from Pfizer’s perspective in choosing an athlete to ship the message versus every other superstar. 

“I’d argue that for well being, celebrities do not work very effectively, normally. You’ll be able to’t use celebrities to promote well being concepts the identical means you do footwear in commercials. Proper. Persons are far more protecting about their well being. They are much extra personal about their well being. They are much extra immune to exterior influences telling them take care of their well being.” 

Nonetheless, so far as how the message is obtained, Morse pointed to the viewers.  

“In honesty, in the event you’re speaking concerning the extremes, I do not assume it may do something.”

The commentary coming from each Rodgers and Kelce in response to the partnership current either side of the controversy, one thing Fox Information medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel calls “essential.” 

“The COVID-19 vaccines are actually not excellent, however far safer and more practical than the anti-vaxx motion has made them out to be, and vital unintended effects stay uncommon, milder unintended effects extra frequent,” Siegel stated of the efficacy of the vaccine. “They lower severity, particularly in aged and excessive danger teams, and seem to lower viral load and unfold considerably, no less than initially. I believe they need to be a matter of alternative, and I actually respect Aaron Rodgers’ proper to refuse or communicate out in opposition to them.”

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers waves to soccer followers earlier than an NFL soccer recreation between the Jets and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (AP Photograph/Frank Franklin II)


He continued, “However, although Travis Kelce is just not strictly talking appropriate, since COVID can actually unfold amongst his household and other people within the constructing even when he’s vaccinated, nonetheless, I do not thoughts his assertion both, as a result of although overstated, it serves as a form of counterbalance to Rodgers, and so Kelce stands as a task mannequin for taking the vaccine. That is essential at a time of disillusionment of an primarily good and helpful vaccine.”

Rodgers stated Tuesday throughout an look on “The Pat McAfee Present,” that he can be prepared to debate Kelce concerning the subject. 

“Mr. Pfizer stated he did not assume he can be in vax struggle with me. This ain’t a struggle homie. That is simply dialog,” he stated. “However if you wish to have some type of duel, debate, have me on the podcast, come on the present, allow us to have a dialog.”

“Let’s do it like in ‘John Wick 4’ so we each have a second … any person to assist us out. I am gonna take my man [Robert F. Kennedy] Jr., and he can have [Dr. Anthony] Fauci or another pharmacrat, and we will have a dialog about this,” he continued. 

“That’d be massive scores.”



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