Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, and late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel are engaged in a bitter feud that shows no signs of cooling off. The conflict stems from comments Rodgers made on a podcast suggesting Kimmel was connected to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Kimmel has furiously denied the claims and threatened to take legal action. Meanwhile, ESPN was forced to apologize after one of its executives criticized Rodgers over the feud.
Rodgers Implicates Kimmel in Epstein Conspiracy Theory
The feud began when Rodgers made an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” podcast on January 3rd. In response to a comment about “safe spaces,” Rodgers referenced a conspiracy theory that Kimmel was named in court documents related to Epstein:
“Haven’t heard anything from Joy Behar or Jimmy Kimmel, who was making fun of the ‘incredibly safe environment’ of Las Vegas after the [mass shooting] there, and by the way had put his name on the Epstein flight logs.”
Epstein infamously operated a sex trafficking ring of underage girls. Rodgers was implying that Kimmel was connected to Epstein and his illegal activities.
There is no evidence that Kimmel’s name appears in any flight logs or court documents related to Epstein. The claim seems to originate from far-right internet forums pushing an unfounded conspiracy theory.
Kimmel Threatens Lawsuit in Fiery Monologue
Kimmel wasted no time hitting back against Rodgers. In a 7-minute monologue on his January 4th show, Kimmel blasted Rodgers as “hamster-brained” and an “arrogant celebrity who is so arrogant he can’t even realize how dumb he sounds when he speaks.”
The late night host denied any connection to Epstein and threatened legal action against Rodgers:
“I could sue you for defamation, but you’re a football player. You probably saved your money, you didn’t spend it all on experimental medical treatments, so I don’t want to take money from all those charities you donate to.”
Kimmel closed by calling upon Rodgers to “have the decency to admit you were wrong, and apologize.” So far, Rodgers has not responded.
ESPN Executive Slams Rodgers’ Comments
The feud intensified when Mike Foss, Vice President of Digital Content at ESPN, criticized Rodgers over the controversy.
In response to Rodgers’ appearance on McAfee’s show, Foss tweeted:
“If you’re a QB and you’re on a platform like Pat’s show — think before you speak. A lot of young people hang on every word. Calling out a bad joke with an even dumber and factually incorrect one, while also trying to smear someone’s name, isn’t it.”
Foss later apologized for the tweet, calling Rodgers’ comment a “dumb, factually inaccurate joke.” But he stood by his criticism, saying public figures should use better judgment.
Rodgers has not directly responded to Foss’ remarks.
What Will Happen Next?
The ugly feud shows no signs of resolution anytime soon. Rodgers seems unlikely to apologize or back down. Meanwhile, Kimmel’s legal threats introduce the possibility of an even bigger escalation.
Some possible next steps:
- Kimmel could follow through on suing Rodgers for defamation. But legal experts think such a lawsuit would face major hurdles.
- Rodgers may address the issue on a future episode of McAfee’s podcast. He often uses the show’s “safe space” to make controversial comments.
- The conflict could become a partisan political football. Conservative media has already started accusing Kimmel of trying to “cancel” Rodgers.
- ESPN may face pressure to further discipline Foss for his tweets criticizing Rodgers. The network relies heavily on relationships with star athletes.
In the short term, the Kimmel-Rodgers feud seems destined to continue playing out messily on social media and cable news. But eventually, public attention may shift elsewhere. For now, fans are left watching uncomfortably as two mega-celebrities rip each other apart.
Table: Key Events in Kimmel-Rodgers Feud
|January 3, 2024
|Aaron Rodgers implies Jimmy Kimmel connected to Epstein on “The Pat McAfee Show” podcast
|January 4, 2024
|Kimmel responds in fiery monologue, threatens lawsuit against Rodgers
|January 5, 2024
|ESPN’s Mike Foss sends critical tweet of Rodgers’ comments
|January 5, 2024
|Foss apologizes for tweet, but stands by criticism of Rodgers
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