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Media Meltdowns

Pat McAfee Dons Formal Sleeves As He Tries To Explain Away Aaron Rodgers’s Comments About Jimmy Kimmel

Pat McAfee on the set of his tv show
Image via ESPN

Roughly 24 hours after Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared on Pat McAfee's ESPN show and implied that ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel's name would be revealed on Jeffrey Epstein's client list, McAfee spent a few minutes at the top of today's show attempting to do damage control.

Surely ESPN's lawyers, Disney's executives, and a bunch of other suits weren't pleased by cross-promotional pedophile allegations, and you can perhaps discern how gravely their instructions were communicated to McAfee based on the fact that he wore a shirt with sleeves for today's show. Without ever really acknowledging what Rodgers said about Kimmel, the crimson punter did his best to head off any potential lawsuit by chalking the whole thing up to the kind of mindless shit-talking encouraged by the unstructured nature of a daily three-hour show. McAfee, who always moves and talks like he's trying to charm his way through a half-assed presentation in AP English, delivered his message while the other rowdy fellas who populate his studio chimed in with various ad libs.

The point of this statement is to create some distance between what Rodgers said and where he said it. McAfee and his crew tried to position Rodgers and Kimmel as two guys who have feuded for a while, and The Pat McAfee Show as a neutral site that just happened to feature a continuation of that feud. "We apologize for being a part of it," McAfee said. "Can't wait to hear what Aaron has to say about it. Hopefully those two will just be able to settle it. Not court-wise, but be able to chit-chat and move along."

It's dishonest for McAfee to spin this incident in a way that absolves his show from any responsibility while also retains access to his well-paid, frequent guest. Rodgers said what he did about Kimmel because he was teed up by McAfee's co-host, A.J. Hawk, who initially mentioned the forthcoming Epstein client list. This also isn't the first time McAfee has gotten in trouble by saying potentially defamatory things on air. As he mentioned in his remarks, he was previously sued by Brett Favre for comments he made about the former quarterback's involvement in a Mississippi welfare fraud case. That lawsuit was eventually withdrawn after McAfee read a clarifying statement on his show.

If the show continues to operate like it has, and if Rodgers continues to appear as a guest each week, McAfee might want to add a few more sleeved shirts to the rotation. Just in case.

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