Aaron Rodgers will no longer appear on ESPN’s Pat McAfee Show

Aaron Rodgers
Image caption,Aaron Rodgers had used his slot on the show to criticise late-night host Jimmy Kimmel

By Mike Wendling

BBC News

Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made his last appearance for now on a popular sports talk show after a string of controversial comments.

Pat McAfee, host of the show, made the announcement on air on Wednesday.

“We live in a country that has freedom of speech, but you’re going to have to deal with the consequences of your freedom of speech,” he said.

Mr Rodgers has used his slot on the show to criticise Jimmy Kimmel, health authorities and his critics.

On one recent appearance, Mr Rodgers implied without any evidence that talk show host Mr Kimmel was an associate of the late sex offender financier Jeffrey Epstein. Mr Kimmel, who did not appear in recent court documents related to Epstein, threatened to take legal action.

On Monday, Mr Kimmel spent several minutes of his nightly monologue hitting back at the quarterback, calling him a “soft-brain junior college student” and mocking his opposition to vaccination.

Pat McAfee show screenshoot
Image caption,Pat McAfee explained his reasoning on his popular show

The American football star reopened the war of words the following day on The Pat McAfee Show, denying that he ever accused Mr Kimmel of illegal activity.

He also repeated popular conspiracy theories about Covid vaccines, cited a number of discredited sources and claimed he was being “cancelled” and “censored” for “doing his own research”.

In previous years, Mr Rodgers has appeared on the show throughout the NFL season, and it was unclear whether he will return in the future.

But on Wednesday’s broadcast Mr McAfee, a former NFL punter, said the quarterback’s appearances on the show were over, at least for the time being.

“There’s going to be a lot of people that are happy with that, myself included to be honest with you,” Mr McAfee said.

ESPN declined to comment. The network says Mr McAfee’s show reaches nearly 900,000 viewers per daily episode across all platforms.

Mr Rodgers, who won a Super Bowl during a long career with the Green Bay Packers, has often talked about alternative medicine and treatments.

He has taken the psychedelic drug ayahuasca during offseason trips to Peru, and spent four days underground at a “dark retreat” last summer.

Mr Rodgers, 40, was traded to the http://mesinpencarinenas.com/ New York Jets last year, but tore his Achilles tendon within minutes of the season-opening game in September and has not played since.

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