Aaron Rodgers responds after Jimmy Kimmel challenges him to apologize in blistering monologue

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers will no longer appear as a guest on “The Pat McAfee Show” for the rest of the football season, McAfee said on his ESPN show Wednesday.

The move comes after Rodgers suggested, without evidence, that late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s name would be included in a trove of court documents released from a lawsuit related to Jeffrey Epstein, the late convicted sex offender.

“So ‘Aaron Rodgers Tuesday,’ Season Four, is done,” McAfee said. “There could be a lot of people that are happy with that. Myself included, to be honest with you. The way it ended, it got real loud.”

“Some of his thoughts and opinions, though, do piss off a lot of people,” he added. “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.”

Representatives for Rodgers did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News on Wednesday. ESPN spokesperson Julie McKay declined to elaborate on McAfee’s announcement to NBC News.

Kimmel, 56, challenged Rodgers, 40, to apologize during his 13-minute monologue on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Jan. 8, speaking about the quarterback’s comments for the first time since he threatened legal action in a post on X on Jan. 3.

“Aaron Rodgers has a very high opinion of himself. Because he had success on the football field, he believes himself to be an extraordinary being,” Kimmel said. “He genuinely thinks that because God gave him the ability to throw a ball, he’s smarter than everyone else. The idea that his brain is just average is unfathomable to him.”

Aaron Rodgers appeared on ‘The Pat McAfee Show’ after Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue

Rodgers responded to Kimmel’s opening monologue on “The Pat McAfee Show,” an ESPN sports talk show, on Jan. 9, and clarified his comments from the previous week — though he stopped short of apologizing.

“I totally understand how serious allegations of pedophilia would be. So for him to be upset about that, I get it,” Rodgers continued. “I’m not stupid enough — even though you think I’m an idiot and you made a lot of comments about my intelligence — but I’m not stupid enough to accuse you of that with absolutely zero evidence. That’s ridiculous.”

He continued: “I still haven’t popped a bottle because there hasn’t been any list that’s come out. I’m glad that Jimmy is not on the list. I really am. And I don’t think he’s the p-word.”

The NFL star concluded by saying he wished Kimmel the best and that he wanted to move forward.

“I don’t give a s— what he says about me,” Rodgers said. “As long as he understands what I actually said and that I’m not accusing him of being on a list, I’m all for moving forward.”

What Aaron Rodgers originally said about Jimmy Kimmel and Jeffrey Epstein

Rodgers suggested Kimmel had ties to Epstein last week while appearing on the Jan. 2 episode of “The Pat McAfee Show.”

“There’s a lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, who’s really hoping that doesn’t come out,” the veteran quarterback said.

The former Green Bay Packer was referencing dozens of court documents that have been made public this month stemming from a 2015 lawsuit. The documents are said to include more than 150 names of Epstein’s associates, victims, friends and acquaintances. Most of the names had been publicized already.

“I’ll tell you what, if that list comes out, I’ll definitely be popping some sort of bottle,” Rodgers said on the Jan. 2 episode of the show.

Kimmel’s name has not been included in the court documents unsealed. The late-night host said in his monologue he never met Epstein and had no connection to him.

“It did come out, and of course, my name wasn’t on it, isn’t on it, and won’t ever be on it,” Kimmel said. “I don’t know Jeffrey Epstein, I’ve never met Jeffrey Epstein. I am not on a list, I was not on a plane or an island or anything, ever.”

On Jan. 3, McAfee apologized for Rodgers’ comments on his show.

“I could see exactly why Jimmy Kimmel felt the way he felt, especially with his position,” McAfee said. “But I think Aaron was just trying to talk s—. Now, did it go too far in a lot of people’s — Jimmy Kimmel certainly said that was the case.”

Kimmel previously threatened legal action against Rodgers for the comments in a post on X.

“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 said in the Jan. 3 post.

“Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court.”

Kimmel noted in his monologue he had mocked some of Rodgers’ past comments on McAfee’s show about UFOs and the Epstein documents, and he speculated that Rodgers was retaliating for his previous jokes.

“But saying someone is a pedophile is not an opinion, nor is it ‘trash talk’ — sorry, Pat McAfee,” Kimmel said. “And as far as the ‘Well you say things about people all the time’ argument goes — yes, I do — it’s not the same. It’s not even close to the same. We say a lot of things on this show. We don’t make up lies.”

Still, Kimmel said he hoped to hear an apology from Rodgers.

“I bet he won’t,” Kimmel said. “If he does, you know what I’ll do? I’ll accept his apology and move on.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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