Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers created a controversy today while shopping at a grocery store near his home. Witnesses say Rodgers purchased his groceries and left the store without once acknowledging a child in the store who will one day die.
Little Thomas Riley, age 5, was one checkout aisle away from Rodgers with his mother when the quarterback paid and left.
"Sure, Mr. Big Shot has enough money to buy groceries — all brand names, I might add," said Thomas' mother, Cindy, "but can't give any money to my son. Who knows what Thomas will die from? He needs help."
"I don't want to die," said Thomas, overhearing his mother. "Am I dying, Mommy? I feel good. I don't want to die."
"Yes, honey," said his mother. "You're dying. And Aaron Rodgers doesn't care."
With Thomas now in tears, sadness filling what could be his final days, Rodgers was long gone and on the way to his nearby mansion.
"I honestly didn't even see the kid," said Rodgers, asked later about the incident. "I just needed to get some milk and get home. If I had known he was dying, I would have, you know, talked to him if it would have raised his spirits."
The boy's mother says Rodgers' response shows how delusional and pampered today's athletes are.
"He says he didn't know my son was dying?!" said Mrs. Riley. "Absurd! We're all dying. He just doesn't care. In the old days, athletes would acknowledge everyone they saw and say: 'I am sorry you're dying.' It was a better time."
Rodgers also reportedly plans to play in an essentially meaningless football game this Sunday instead of flying to Darfur where someone of his means could make a real impact.