Aaron Rodgers is trying to combat the stigma surrounding athletes' use of psychedelics.
The New York Jets quarterback was the keynote speaker with his friend and podcast host Audrey Marcus on Wednesday for the Psychedelic Science 2023 convention in Denver.
The former Green Bay Packers star rattled the sports world in August when he spoke about his ayahuasca use on Marcus' show,
saying finding self-love through the psychedelic guided him to consecutive MVP seasons in 2020 and '21.
about the stigma of psychedelics in the NFL and how he has been able to overcome that due to his on-field success.
"When I first did aya in 2020, I remember thinking afterwards, like I'm gonna have to talk about this at some point. Are people ready?
How will it be received? Then I won MVP. Then I did it again. Then I said, OK, I can probably talk about it now," he said with a chuckle. "...
If you do anything outside of the dinosaur norm in the NFL, you're an outlier, you don't care about football and you don't love football the right way. ...
It's going to be hard to cancel me because previous year, 26 touchdowns, four interceptions, we had a good season. Ayahuasca, 48 touchdowns, five interceptions, MVP. What are you gonna say?"
In 1973, psychedelics were deemed schedule I substances, making possession of them illegal nationwide and creating significant barriers for scientific research.
The growing movement in support of their use for medicinal purposes has led to measures that include Oregon legalizing medical psilocybin — also known as magic mushrooms —
in 2020 and Colorado legalizing psilocybin for medical use as well as decriminalizing it for recreational use in November.
Rodgers said that he hears those critical of him, but he added that his remarks on psychedelics has sparked a wider discussion.
"The response from other people in the sports industry has been pretty incredible," he said.
"To see basketball players and baseball players and surfers and entertainers and my own teammates and colleagues across the league reach out
and either share their story about their own medicine journey or ask to be a part of an upcoming one is pretty, pretty special."