Aaron Rodgers will no longer appear on “The Pat McAfee Show” this NFL season, and the ESPN host on Wednesday distanced himself from the lightning rod quarterback.
Rodgers had recently drawn the ire of comic Jimmy Kimmel after he appeared to suggest that the late night host’s name was going to appear in unsealed documents connected to accused pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
After McAfee announced Wednesday that the weekly segment “Aaron Rodgers Tuesday” was done for the season, he and his staff applauded.
McAfee then explained that Rodgers had become too much of a distraction.
“The guy who stopped by yesterday caused quite a conversation,” McAfee said about Rodgers’ appearance on Tuesday.
As an off-camera voice chimed in “per usual,” an exasperated McAfee shot back: “Not like that.”
“So ‘Aaron Rodgers Tuesday,’ season 4 is done,” McAfee said before clapping. “There are going to be a lot of people that happy with that, myself included to be honest.”
He continued: “The way it ended, it got really loud, really loud. I’m happy that that is not going to be my mentions going forward which is great news.”
McAfee, who explained he has total control of his show’s creative content, appeared to say that the blowback from Rodgers’ comments about Kimmel in his appearance last week was turning into a problem and giving “ammo” to critics of the show.
“And over the last week, we have certainly given them all a lot of stuff to get mad about and become loud about. We’ve messed up in that particular aspect,” McAfee said.
“We live in country that has freedom of speech. But also you’re going to have deal with the consequences of your freedom of speech. So what I’m saying is we’ve given a lot of people who have been waiting for us to fail a lot of ammo in things to attack to us for over the last week.”
He praised Rodgers, a Super Bowl winner and four-time NFL MVP, but said he’s pleased to be moving on from him.
“We are very lucky to get a chance to chat with him and learn from him. Some of his thoughts and opinions, though, do piss off a lot of people,” McAfee said. “And I’m pumped that that is no longer going to be every single Wednesday of my life, which it has been for the last few weeks.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if Rodgers was going to be permanently off “The Pat McAfee Show” or if his 2023 commitment was only set to run through the regular season.
But Rodgers appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” following the 2022 regular season, and even did stints before and after the Super Bowl.
ESPN spokesperson Julie McKay declined to elaborate on the former NFL punter McAfee’s announcement.
“Pat addressed on the show,” she said. “We’re declining comment on the matter.”
Rodgers also made waves in 2021 when he said he was “immunized” against Covid-19 after being asked if was vaccinated. But he later clarified he was actually unvaccinated and had instead taken ivermectin with advice from podcaster Joe Rogan.
That episode might have led to Rodgers losing his long-time gig as pitchman for State Farm insurance.
For years before Covid, Rodgers had enjoyed a reputation as a sensitive, Berkeley-educated renaissance man who was even a guest host of “Jeopardy.”
The signal caller left Green Bay before this season to join the New York Jets, with hopes of revitalizing the long-suffering franchise.
He suffered a season-ending injury just moments into New York’s first game. The 40-year-old, sure-fire Hall of Fame QB said he expects to play in 2024.
His “McAfee” departure comes a little more than a week after suggesting there’s a chance Kimmel’s name could appear in Epstein court documents.
“There’s a lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, who’s really hoping that doesn’t come out,” Rodgers said last week, in reference to unsealed court documents connected to Epstein.
Kimmel had previously mocked Rodgers’ anti-vaccine statements and made fun of his hair, which the late night host believes led to the QB’s false claim linking him to Epstein.