The former UFC fighter went as far as proclaiming Rogan a "beacon of common sense and critical thinking" amid a backlash against COVID-19 misinformation in his program, The Joe Rogan Experience. On Twitter, Askren wrote:
"At this point Rogan is a beacon of common sense and critical thinking. They don't want common sense and critical thinking, they what unquestioning obedience."
Rogan recently made headlines after his platform, Spotify, was dragged into controversy for the growing concern over the misleading COVID-19 information on his program. In light of the situation, Rogan issued an apology to the streaming giant and pledged to express more balanced views and better research on his program. In a nine-minute video he uploaded to Instagram, Rogan said:
"If I pissed you off, I’m sorry. I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view."
Check out Rogan's apology below:
Rogan also clarified that he isn't willingly spreading misinformation or generating controversy. The UFC commentator claimed that he's merely talking to people and asking them about their opinions. Nonetheless, he admitted that he "absolutely" gets things wrong from time to time.
The comments came after Spotify said it would add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about the pandemic. The streaming platform has recently faced mounting pressure from some users concerned about misinformation spread by the popular podcast.
Spotify shares recover after Joe Rogan's apology
The controversy surrounding Joe Rogan reportedly cost Spotify more than $2 billion in market value last week. Following the podcaster's apology, however, investors appeared to have moved on from the controversy as Spotify's stock price increased by 12 percent.
Rogan, of course, is a known vaccine skeptic. His views on vaccines and government mandates to control the spread of the virus have alienated prominent figures including singer-songwriter Neil Young.
The UFC color commentator recently slammed CNN for allegedly reporting fake news. He uploaded a post to his Instagram account wherein he compared the original video that he uploaded at the time of contracting COVID-19 to the one played by CNN.
In the CNN-version of the video, Rogan appears to be in considerably poorer health. The 54-year-old accused the channel of engaging in 'Yellow Journalism'.