Jimmy Kimmel and Aaron Rodgers. Disney/Randy Holmes ; Chance Yeh/WireImage
Jimmy Kimmel and Aaron Rodgers‘ feud began long before the quarterback insinuated the comedian had a connection to Jeffrey Epstein.
Kimmel began poking fun at Rodgers, who played for the Green Bay Packers for 18 seasons before joining the New York Jets in April 2023, after the NFL player came under fire for being dishonest about his COVID-19 vaccination status after he tested positive and missed a series of games.
“Had there been a follow-up to my statement that I’d been immunized, I would have responded with this: I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax-flat-Earther. I’m somebody who’s a critical thinker,’” Rodgers explained of his stance on a November 2021 episode of the Pat McAfee Show. “I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy, [in the] ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something.”
Kimmel, for his part, poked fun at Rodgers’ interview by calling in a “wack Packer” and questioned him for taking medical advice from controversial podcaster Joe Rogan.
“Here’s the thing I don’t get, you won’t take the vaccine but you will take ivermectin? I mean you know good ole ivermectin there’s a product I can trust!” Kimmel quipped on a November 2021 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! while referencing an antiparasitic drug being widely misused to treat coronavirus. “By the way if you’re looking for advice from the former host of Mancho, call me next time! Because I have a second opinion on this!”
Keep scrolling to relive Kimmel and Rodgers’ feud:
Jimmy Kimmel. Mindy Small/Getty Images
When news broke about Rodgers not being vaccinated after implying he was “immunized,” Kimmel was quick to call the athlete out for his controversial beliefs.
“Nothing says I heal myself with crystals like this haircut — that little knot on top,” Kimmel said in his monologue before flashing to a selfie of Rodgers in a man bun. “Aaron is a Karen, that’s the fact of the matter.”
Kimmel continued to make jokes at Rodgers’ expense on his talk show especially after the then-Packers player was fined for not following the NFL’s mask policy.
“The NFL last night decided to penalize Rodgers and the Packers,” Kimmel quipped. “Rodgers was fined $14,650, which he spends more per year on scrunchies for his man bun. What a weird year Aaron Rodgers is having. In just a few months he went from hosting Jeopardy!
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After Rodgers returned to the field, he went on to voice his support for other conspiracy theories, including that President Joe Biden wasn’t the rightful winner of the 2020 election. Kimmel, for his part, teased that Rodgers was lashing out with claims that were “befitting to a man who’s been hit in the head a lot of times.”
Aaron Rodgers. Gotham/GC Images
Rodgers returned to the Pat McAfee Show and expressed his interest in the list of names that were reportedly connected to the late convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein before the court documents were released to the public in January 2024. The late night host shared a series of snippets from Rodgers’ February 2023 appearance during his monologue and implied that Rodgers might have a potential head injury.
“It might be time to revisit that concussion protocol, Aaron,” Kimmel quipped at the time.
Nearly one year after Kimmel’s March 2023 burn, Rodgers still seemingly felt some resentment towards the comedian. During another appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers insinuated that Kimmel should be worried about the names on Epstein’s list implying that the late night host had a connection to the accused sex offender.
“I’ll tell you what, if that list comes out, I will definitely be popping some sort of bottle,” Rodgers retorted.
Kimmel, for his part, slammed Rodgers for his allegations and threatened to take legal action against him.
“Dear A–hole: for the record, I’ve not met, flown with, visited, or had any contact whatsoever with Epstein, nor will you find my name on any ‘list’ other than the clearly-phony nonsense that soft-brained wackos like yourself can’t seem to distinguish from reality,” Kimmel wrote via X (formerly Twitter) at the time. “Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court. @AaronRodgers12.”
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After the duo’s reignited feud made headlines, McAfee apologized to Kimmel for Rodgers’ remarks on his show.
“I can see exactly how Jimmy Kimmel felt especially with his position, but I think Aaron was trying to talk s–t. Now, did it go too far? Jimmy Kimmel certainly said that was the case,” McAfee said. “We obviously don’t like to be associated with anything negative ever. We’d like our show to be an uplifting one, a happy one, a fun one, but it’s because we talk s–t and try to make light of everything.”
When Kimmel returned to his talk show later that month, the Emmy winner unloaded on Rodgers in his monologue.
“Did you hear this story about me and Aaron Rodgers, the former quarterback for the Packers?” Kimmel said. “So, what happened is — he’s the Jets quarterback now — he went on a show on ESPN, The Pat McAfee Show, and out of the blue insinuated that I was nervous because the Jeffrey Epstein list was coming out. He said I was hoping it wouldn’t and that he was going to pop a bottle of something to celebrate when he did.”
Kimmel explained to the audience he “never met” Epstein and how he called Rodgers out on social media for his false claims.
“I suggested that if Aaron wanted to make false and very damaging statements like that we should do it in court so he could share his proof with, like, a judge,” he continued. “Because, you know, when you hear a guy who won a Super Bowl and did all the State Farm commercials say something like this, a lot of people believe it.”
Kimmel supposed that Rodgers’ remarks stemmed from the comedian making fun of him over the years.
“Either he actually believes my name was gonna be on Epstein’s list, which is insane,” he said. “Or the more likely scenario is he doesn’t actually believe that; he just said it because he’s mad at me for making fun of his top knot and his lies about being vaccinated.”
After Kimmel’s scathing monologue made headlines, Rodgers responded to the backlash.
“I wish him the best. I don’t give a s–t what he says about me,” he said on a January 2024 episode of The Pat McAfee Show. “As long as he understands what I actually said, that I’m not accusing him of being on a list. I’m all for moving forward.”