GREEN BAY – Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers conquered a fear – and raised awareness for a good cause – during the Discovery Channel’s 30th anniversary of “Shark Week.”
Appearing on an episode of “Monster Tag” with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Rodgers dove into the Pacific Ocean to help tag a blue shark 30 miles off the coast of Southern California.
Satellite tagging enables scientists to track shark for thousands of miles across the ocean and allows biologists to provide better protection from longline finishing fleets and other potential dangers.
“I’m terrified of sharks because I watched ‘Jaws’ as a kid,” quipped Rodgers during the episode. “While I do have a fear of sharks, I do think it’s heartbreaking to hear about the hundred millions that are killed indiscriminately during the year.
“I have a large social following and I hope to use this opportunity to really raise some awareness and break some of those stereotypes between man and shark.”
Wearing a protective suit that blocks electrical energy, Rodgers successfully tagged a decoy with a nomadic spear gun before coming face-to-face with a blue shark, which can grow up to 12 feet in length and weigh up to 450 pounds.
Following specialists’ instructions, Rodgers touched the shark on the nose and pushed down to safely redirect it. The shark then disappeared and the mission was called off due to increasing darkness and a lack of visibility.
It still was a memorable and eye-opening experience for the two-time MVP quarterback. Speaking at his ProCamp in Green Bay earlier this week, longtime teammate Randall Cobb said he was just as eager as most Packers fans to see Rodgers step outside his comfort zone.
“I was pretty excited about it,” Cobb said. “I love that he’s living his life and really enjoying his life. Being able to do some of those things, I would have jumped in the water if I was there with him.”
Packers QB participates in underwater mission