It is no secret that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun are very good friends. It was a match made in heaven for Wisconsin sports fans. Two of the state’s favorite players who dominate their sport have been spotted at clubs and courtside at Milwaukee Bucks games together. However, what will happen to their relationship after Braun lied about taking performance-enhancing drugs and Rodgers publicly supported him over the past 18 months?
Rodgers took to Twitter immediately when it was reported back in December of 2011 that Braun failed a drug test. Two specific tweets are as follows:
“MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free #exonerated.”
“When it’s guilty until proven innocent, all u need are the facts. #howsthecrowmlb.”
Rodgers was so confident Braun was innocent that he was even willing to bet his 2013 base salary of $4.5 million on it. The following exchange occurred on February 22, 2012 in which a Mr. Todd Sutton questioned Rodgers’ previous tweets.
“You really believe he didn’t you PED’s???? #delusional,” Sutton tweeted.
“I’d put my salary next year on it #ponyup #exonerated,” Rodgers tweeted in response.
Clearly, Braun never told Rodgers the truth about what really went down. It is obvious he did not because Rodgers would never have been so defensive in the public light. It will certainly be interesting to see what Rodgers has to say about the 65-game suspension once Packers training camp starts later this week. However, one has to assume that he will refuse to answer any questions regarding Braun. Since the media in Green Bay respects Rodgers because of the respect he has shown them over the years, it is quite possible no one will force a word out of him.
Rodgers and Braun are not only friends but they also are business partners. They own the restaurant 8 Twelve in Brookfield, Wis. and will be opening up another location soon. That means Braun did not only lie to his good friend but someone he is in business with, which is never a good idea.
Rodgers appears to be the type of guy who will eventually forgive Braun down the road. However, there is a good chance it will take some time for the wounds to heal. On the other hand, the fact is Rodgers does not associate himself with liars and cheaters because he knows there is no place in professional sports for that kind of behavior. It is quite possible that the damage to the friendship simply cannot be repaired.