All the time, we hear athletes and celebrities worry about being misquoted or having their words “taken out of context” in an interview. It’s a genuine fear justified by the (probably rare) occasion when a reporter does, in fact, quote a high-profile figure in a way that misrepresents what he or she intended to say.

Well Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has an ever-so-simple strategy for mitigating against this problem, which he explained Friday on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz: He records every one-on-one interview he participates in, just as the interviewer does.

“I think you have to be wary,” Rodgers said. “I think you have to approach every interview with a clear mind and think about what you want to say and what message you want to get out. I also think it’s important, if you’re worried about being taken out of context, that you just record your interviews. It’s something I’ve been doing for a while now, and I think it’s important to have that second recording so if someone’s trying to take something you said out of context you can go back and say, ‘Wait, wait. Hold on.'”

Rodgers acknowledged that recording all his interviews is unusual but said he once read Natalie Portman did it as well.

“It a way, if you’re in a one-on-one situation, where there’s no gray area. What you said is what you said, and there’s no way to take your words and move them around a little bit.”

Yes, this sounds a little paranoid, but it’s also an easy way to gain some peace of mind. Le Batard asked if Rodgers had someone with him all the time recording his conversations, to which the quarterback dryly replied, “No, I have this thing called an iPhone.” Later, when Le Batard referred to the “great lengths” Rodgers was taking to protect himself, the quarterback responded, “I wouldn’t say this is great lengths. This is me pushing a button on my phone.” It’s not like Rodgers is a madman. He’s just taking a small step to guard against ill-intentioned (or, more innocently, misunderstanding) reporters.

Though Rodgers’ desire to record all his interviews obviously indicates some distrust in the media, the practice can be beneficial for everyone. Rodgers gets to feel comfortable in his interviews, which might allow him to open up a little more and improve the reporter’s story. The reporter can’t really complain—after all, why should he alone get to possess a recording of the conversation? If everything is on tape, everyone is accountable.

The entire conversation between Rodgers and Le Batard is a pretty fascinating listen. The quarterback expressed understandable frustration that ESPN had turned an obvious answer about not accepting “mediocrity” into a talk-show topic, lamented that many interviews don’t feel like conversations and teased a feature by ESPN’s Mina Kimes that’s apparently due out soon. It’s always interesting to hear athletes’ views on the media, especially when they’re as intelligent and astute as Rodgers obviously is.

[The Big Lead]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com, the Hartford Courant, Baseball Prospectus, Land of 10 and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • golffan1963

    The story speculates that instances of reporters taking quotes out of context is “probably rare”.

    What planet is the author living on?

  • sportsfan365

    The media nowadays tries to fit facts to a narrative rather than letting the facts DEFINE the narrative. The sad thing is that they don’t see this themselves.

  • Raymond Chuang

    There’s a reason why the current President doesn’t like the media–the mass media’s tendency to “edit” anything to fit their narrative. That’s why Rodgers does this–to protect himself from being misquoted by any sports media outlet.

  • Jeff Johnson

    This is a great illustration of one of the many reasons Rodgers is such a good quarterback beyond his physical talent and skills. He’s a very smart guy and very wise to do this in the present culture of so-called journalism.