On Jan. 16, 2023, a viral Reddit post claimed that football player Aaron Rodgers wouldn't stop talking about a "Hat Man" he encountered on an ayahuasca trip he had in Peru. The post pulled the story from an August 2022 Wisconsin News Today article that claimed Rodgers had been seeing this figure for a few years:
Not much is known of the mysterious "Hat Man" except that Aaron Rodgers first started seeing the shadowy figure after his Ayahuasca fueled trips in Peru during the 2020 and 2022 offseasons. Aaron says
"He will sometimes appear in the distance usually veiled by darkness holding the corpse of a dead rabbit and sometimes a blade."
Teammates are concerned for the quarterback who now fears being in the locker room alone, after he claims the lights "started to flicker and turn off one by one". He continued.
"It was behind me, not even breathing hard. I heard it's feet hitting the ground in a constant rhythm. I ran to my car, opened the door, slammed it behind me and locked it as fast as I could."
This claim is fictional, as it originates from a site that says on its "About us" page: "we hope that you find our content to be just as productive and thought-provoking as they are absurd and outrageous."
The Twitter account for Wisconsin News Today also states it is a "Satirical News Site dedicated to bringing you Breaking Unbiased News."
The site even reposted on Facebook a TikTok video that also appeared (tongue in cheek) to take the story at face value. They wrote: "It's goood to see people on Tik Tok taking our Hat Man story seriously. This is not a joke. Please be careful out there."
Rodgers has, in real life, spoken about his ayahuasca consumption in the past, saying his ego dissolved from the experience.
"There's a lot of trust," he told Men's Health in December 2022 about the process, in which he consumed the hallucinogenic tea. "And surrender, I think, is another good word. You have to surrender to the master plant teacher that is ayahuasca, and there's naturally some fear around that. And when you do, some pretty incredible things can happen, as was evidenced by night two of my most recent journey. Night one I was still a little resistant, and night two, I fully surrendered to the process and to the master teacher, and she was benevolent in her lessons. There's a lot of overall happiness that exists when you have a deeper love for yourself. It actually allows you, I feel, to give and receive love better and interact with people with less judgment and less projection. So that's one thing I've really been working on."
This is not the first satirical item on Wisconsin News Today about Rodgers. On Jan. 9, 2023, the site claimed that Rodgers blamed a football game loss on the "Hat Man."
"I just kept throwing the ball to the Hat Man, he was always wide open, floating high above the rest of the players, it was so scary I just had to," they claim he said.
Again, Wisconsin News Today describes its content as satirical.