The Aaron Rodgers-Jimmy Kimmel Feud Actually Started in 2021

By Jason Hall

January 3, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

The apparent feud between New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and ABC late night talk host Jimmy Kimmel dates back farther than Rodgers' accusation and Kimmel's response on Tuesday (January 2).

The rift between the two went viral after Rodgers implied that Kimmel would be among the list of names included in unsealed court documents identifying late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's associates and the talk show host's response threatening a defamation lawsuit. However, Kimmel had previously made jokes about Rodgers' conspiracy theories and vaccination status during his monologues dating back to 2021.

Kimmel initially compared Rodgers' claim that he was "immunized" -- which had previously been taken by many to have meant vaccinated prior to his later confirmation of being unvaccinated -- to lying about not using a condom during sex.

“The only thing worse than not getting vaccinated when you’re in close proximity with other people is letting them think you’re vaccinated when you’re not,” Kimmel said during an episode of his talk show airing in November 2021. “It’s basically the COVID equivalent of ‘The condom fell off.'”

Kimmel continued to joke about Rodgers' vaccination stance and conspiracy theories on multiple occasions, including an episode in February 2023, when he blasted the quarterback for implying that UFO findings were a distraction from the Epstein list during an appearance on McAfee's show, referring to Rodgers as a "tin foil hatter."

Rodgers' longtime friend and former Green Bay Packers teammate, David Bakhtiari, then implied that Kimmel's joke was an admission to being "on the Jeffrey Epstein client list."

Rodgers finally responded during his weekly appearance on 'the Pat McAfee Show' Tuesday, albeit implying serious unproven allegations against Kimmel.

“That’s supposed to be coming out soon,” Rodgers said. “There are a lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, that are really hoping that doesn’t come out.”

“I’ll tell you what, if that list comes out, I will definitely be popping some sort of bottle,” Rodgers added.

Kimmel responded with a lengthy repost on his X account.

"Dear Aa**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. Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court. @AaronRodgers12," Kimmel wrote.

McAfee, whose show airs on ESPN which, like ABC, is owned by The Walt Disney Company, addressed the situation on Wednesday (January 3).

"I can see exactly why Jimmy Kimmel felt the way he felt, especially with his position. But I think Aaron was just trying to talk s**t," McAfee said.

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