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Aaron Rodgers explains his defense of Ryan Braun

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who typically steers clear of controversy, was candid when Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, was suspended for violating baseball’s steroids policy. When the news of the violation broke in December, Rodgers called the allegations “ridiculous.” After Braun was exonerated, Rodgers invited the media to feast on crow.

In an interview with the media outlet that first reported the pending Braun suspension, Rodgers explained his decision to sound off on Braun, with whom Rodgers has partnered in a Brookfield, Wisconsin restaurant that opened in July.

“He told me the truth and I believed him and I felt like there were some media outlets that immediately jumped on a story like that,” Rodgers told ESPN’s Bob Holtzman. “And the ramifications that can happen in this business when it’s a guilty until proven innocent system are far reaching. And it’s not just personal and reputation stuff, it’s dollars through endorsements.”

Rodgers is right. And that’s why we periodically harp on the importance of maintaining confidentiality until any suspension has been finalized, especially when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs. Sometimes, the player is exonerated, but the stigma doesn’t disappear.