Jimmy Kimmel, ESPN respond to Aaron Rodgers' controversial Epstein remarks

 January 7, 2024

As anticipation continued to build over last week's release of Jeffrey Epstein-related court documents, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers made pointed references to the possible exposure of comedian Jimmy Kimmel, as Variety noted, prompting the late-night host to angrily fire back in what some might argue is a matter of him protesting a bit too much.

It was not just Kimmel who responded to Rodgers' veiled assertions, as ESPN also went public with a rebuke of the Jets standout, whose comments were made during a weekly appearance on the network's Pat McAfee Show.

Controversial comments

It was during the aforementioned appearance that Rodgers riffed on the highly anticipated release of the document trove related to Epstein and his longtime paramour and partner in crime, Ghislaine Maxwell.

“There's a lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, really hoping that doesn't come out,” Rodgers said.

Not content to leave things there, Rodgers added, “I'll tell you what, if that list comes out, I definitely will be popping some sort of bottle.”

Kimmel reacts

It did not take long for Kimmel to fire off a response to Rodgers' statements, taking to X deny the implications contained therein.

“Dear Aasshole: 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 began.

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

The latest back-and-forth between the two came after a March 2023 incident in which Kimmel poked fun at Rodgers for having mentioned the potential release of Epstein-linked names and the trouble it could cause for high-profile figures.

Kimmel aired a clip of those comments from Rodgers and joked, “it might be time to revisit the concussion protocol, Aaron” and also characterized the quarterback as a “tin-foil hatter.”

ESPN weighs in

Joining Kimmel in his criticism of Rodgers was ESPN's Mike Foss, who, as Breitbart noted, said that “Aaron made a dumb and factually inaccurate joke about Jimmy Kimmel.”

“It should never have happened,” Foss continued. “We all realized that in the moment.

ESPN's statement did not go so far as to constitute an apology, perhaps due to the advice of lawyers.

Since the latest controversy erupted, Rodgers has made no further public comment on the issue, and the network has not stated whether or not his appearances on the Pat McAfee Show will continue.