Once his career is over, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will go down as one of the best NFL players ever. With two MVP awards, eight Pro Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl ring, and a long list of NFL records, this sports star has thrilled fans since entering the league in 2005. But despite his ability to routinely connect with receivers down the field, Rodgers doesn’t have much success connecting with his family.
The world found out that Rodgers was estranged from his family on the unlikeliest of places — an episode of The Bachelorette. Rodgers’ brother, Jordan Rodgers, was a contestant in 2016, and during a conversation with future fiancée JoJo Fletcher, the former football player dropped a bombshell while discussing their upcoming hometown date. « My middle brother won’t be there, » he said (via the Los Angeles Times). « It’s just the way he’s chosen to do life. I chose to stay close with my family and my parents and my brother. » Yikes.
Since then, a very public feud between Rodgers and his family has played out in the media with no end in sight. How did it start? Who’s to blame? Well, it’s complicated. Sit back and let’s find out everything there is to know about Aaron Rodgers’ family feud.
So, how did Aaron Rodgers’ family feud start?
While there is no specific reason on record to explain why Aaron Rodgers became estranged from his family, an article in the Bleacher Report about Rodgers’ relationship with his teammates included some insightful details on the feud. According to the report, Rodgers supposedly completely cut off contact with his family, and a few of his friends, in 2014.
An insider cited by the outlet claimed that their relationship was so toxic that when Rodgers’ parents sent Christmas gifts to him and his then-girlfriend, Olivia Munn, in 2014, Rodgers sent them back in the mail. Meanwhile, the grandfather who Rodgers « once called before every game »? Well, he apparently didn’t attend his funeral. And if Rodgers’ family wants to visit Green Bay, Wis. to watch him play, they’d better save up some money. « The family was told they were no longer welcome in Green Bay, » the report alleged. « If Dad wants to attend a game now, he buys tickets on StubHub or goes through another player’s family. » Yikes.
Jordan Rodgers explains it all … kind of
We assume you’re wondering why Jordan Rodgers spilled the family tea to the world during his appearance on The Bachelorette. His reasoning? Well, it’s not the shadiest thing he’s ever done, considering he felt he had to be honest with JoJo Fletcher so he could seal the engagement deal. When asked whether he regretted his decision, Jordan told Us Weekly, « No, you know, I went into this knowing that it was a TV show and that I only had a small opportunity on camera to tell JoJo everything that I needed to in order to get to a place where we can be engaged, and family stuff is part of that. »
Despite all of that, Aaron Rodgers should expect a wedding invitation from his reality star brother. « There’s no scenario in which I wouldn’t want my entire family at a wedding, » Jordan continued. « That’s something all of our family wants and hopes for at some point. »
At the time of this writing, Jordan and Fletcher have yet to exchange vows. Maybe they’re waiting for Aaron Rodgers to RSVP.
What does the rest of Aaron Rodgers’ family think?
Aaron Rodgers’ father, Ed, confirmed to The New York Times in 2017 that the previously cited Bleacher Report article was indeed correct. « Fame can change things, » the California chiropractor claimed. The elder Rodgers added that it was « weird » to have the world know about his relationship with his famous son, saying, « Airing public laundry is not what I would have chosen. » However, Ed noted, « It’s good to have it all come out. » As for whether there was any progress in ending the feud, he replied, « It’s hard to tell sometimes … We’re all hoping for the best. »
During an episode of The Bachelorette, Jordan Rodgers and JoJo Fletcher visited the Rodgers family’s hometown of Chico, Calif. Weighing in on the matter, Fletcher said (via Entertainment Tonight), « It’s hard because that’s Jordan’s brother, that’s Luke brother, that’s Ed and Darla’s son. » She added, « I have no idea, nor could I imagine why Aaron wouldn’t want to be a part of their lives. »
When Fletcher attempted to discuss the feud with the family, she was immediately shot down. « It’s something we don’t really like to talk about a whole lot, » Rodgers’ brother Luke responded. « It pains both of us not to have that relationship. We miss our brother and I trust that God brings things full circle and it’s a wish that everything would just get back to us being a family. »
Just don’t expect Aaron Rodgers to talk about it
While his brother and father seemingly have no problem speaking with the media, it sounds like Aaron Rodgers won’t be airing out any of his family drama publicly anytime soon. As far as Jordan Rodgers’ revelation on The Bachelorette? The football pro apparently didn’t catch it. « I haven’t seen the show, to be honest with you, » he said when asked by WISN 12 Sports after a 2016 training camp practice. « So it hasn’t really affected me a whole lot. »
« As far as those kinds of things go, » Rodgers added, « I’ve always found that it’s a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters, so I’m just — I’m not going to speak on those things, but I wish him well in the competition. »
Of course, that was a while back. But according to a source cited by People the following year, Rodgers will never discuss family grievances in a « public forum, » so don’t hold your breath on any direct insight on the matter from the NFL star himself. « He’s going through great precautions not to make things worse, » the insider claimed. « You’re not going to see him on Oprah crying about all of this. He will deal with his family issues privately. » Fair enough.
Aaron Rodgers’ ex Olivia Munn opened up about the family feud
When Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn split after three years of dating in 2017, a source close to his family blamed her for the ongoing feud. « Olivia doesn’t get along with his family, » an insider cited by Us Weekly claimed. « They think she’s controlling. » However, when Munn sat down for Sirius XM’s Andy Cohen Live, she set the record straight.
Munn revealed to Andy Cohen that Rodgers hadn’t spoken to his « parents and one brother for like eight months before [they] started dating. » She recalled her last day of filming The Newsroom, where she spent a lot of time in her trailer convincing Rodgers to give his parents a call: « They had a really nice conversation, and then they started coming out my first year when I was in Green Bay in 2014 … I just think it’s really important to try to mend things in a family, and I encouraged that. » Unfortunately, it didn’t stick.
The reasoning is unclear, but Munn hinted that Rodgers’ family was taking advantage of him financially. « Their work has a direct connection to what he does. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of complications, » she explained. « I don’t think either side of the road is clean, but I do think it’s not okay when you try to stand on someone’s shoulders and then throw dirt in their face, which is what I think they did with him. »
Danica Patrick tried ‘everything’ to stop Aaron Rodgers’ family feud…
Former race car driver Danica Patrick starting dating Aaron Rodgers in early 2018, almost two years into his public feud with his family. Patrick’s influence reportedly helped ease things between the Pro Bowler and the rest of the Rodgers clan.
« Things between Aaron and his family are improving, slowly, but it is happening, » a source claimed to E! News in October 2019. « Aaron is back on speaking terms with his family, including his brother Jordan, and it’s really all happening with the help of Danica, who is bridging the gap between everyone. » The insider added that Patrick was doing « everything she can » to bring both sides together.
« Danica has been a real guiding and loving force for Aaron, » the source continued. « He is in an entirely different place these days, and his family has been open to this reconciliation. They were at one time very close family, so it’s a sore subject for them, but they are all working on it. » Unfortunately, that also didn’t last long.
But then a podcast appearance ruined it all
While it looked like Aaron Rodgers’ relationship with his estranged family was improving with the help of girlfriend Danica Patrick, that all changed when the Super Bowl champion appeared on Patrick’s Pretty Intense podcast in 2019 to discuss religion. He spoke in-depth about his Christian evolution, from church being a place he begrudgingly « had to go » as a kid to doing « meaningful work » in college by helping to build homes for people in Mexico as part of a Christian outreach program.
However, something happened along the way, and the « binary systems » of religion no longer resonated with his spirituality. « I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell, » Rodgers said. « What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn most of His beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of all this? » He added that « religion can be a crutch, » perpetrating an « us and them » mentality that can cause division.
According to People, his comments were a « slap in the face » to the religious Rodgers family. « It’s basically him turning his back on everything they have taught him, » a source claimed, adding that Rodgers’ remarks were « hurtful to the family » and put any progressive on mending their relationship « back to square one. »
Aaron Rodgers plans to keep his distance for now
Although the feud between Aaron Rodgers and his family has been simmering for years, a family is a family, and sometimes you have no choice but to love them from afar. It sounds as though the NFL star is choosing to do just that. « He loves them very much, and he wants nothing but good things for them all, » a source cited by People claimed in January 2020. « The fact that he doesn’t talk to them doesn’t mean that he hates them. They just have a very problematic relationship that sometimes can be toxic. For the good of everyone, there’s some distance there. »
However, despite their differences, Rodgers’ family can always count on him, just like every Green Bay Packers fan. « If they needed him, if anything went wrong or if there were an emergency, he’d be the first one to help them, » the source continued. « He loves them. »
Will Aaron Rodgers and his family reconcile? We suppose only time will tell.