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Aaron Rodgers playing football against the Arizona Cardinals. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Insurance company State Farm called Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers a "great ambassador" for the company on Monday and said he is allowed to have "his own personal point of view" on vaccines.

Driving the news: After testing positive for COVID-19, Rodgers confirmed on the "Pat McAfee Show" last week that he had been unvaccinated, despite previous statements that he had been "immunized."

  • Apex Marketing found that Rodgers was featured in only 1.5% of State Farm advertisements this weekend. Rodgers is normally featured in around 25% of ads run by the company, per the Action Network.
  • "We don’t support some of the statements that he has made, but we respect his right to have his own personal point of view. We recognize our customers, employees, agents and brand ambassadors come from all walks of life, with differing viewpoints on many issues," the spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Axios.
  • The statement was first reported by USA Today.
  • "Our mission at State Farm is to support safer, stronger communities. To that end, we encourage vaccinations, but respect everyone’s right to make a choice based on their personal circumstances.”

Another sponsor, Prevea Health, ended their relationship with Rodgers following his comments, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent.

The NFL's COVID-19 protocols require unvaccinated players to follow stricter rules than vaccinated teammates, and players could be fined more than $14,000 per violation.

Go deeper

Watch: A conversation on pandemic-era innovations' impact on health care

On Dec. 8 at 12:30pm ET, Axios health care reporter Caitlin Owens will unpack pandemic-era innovations and the impact on health care in 2022 and beyond, featuring Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Scripps Research President & CEO Dr. Pete Schultz. Register.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."

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