Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was just as “shocked” as anyone else who has supported Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun over the past year and a half. The signal caller was devastated to find out Braun lied to him and all of the fans. Whether their close friendship remains intact will be the big question going forward.
“I was shocked, I really was, just like many of you were,” Rodgers said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I was backing up a friend. He looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true.
“So, it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend, but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, really baseball fans. It doesn’t feel great being lied to like that and I’m disappointed in the way it all went down.”
Rodgers has publicly defended Braun on Twitter over the past 18 months, sticking up for him on every occasion. No one has to be more disappointed than Rodgers is, as Braun and him not only have invested in a friendship but a restaurant business as well.
“I don’t regret backing a friend up. Obviously, in hindsight a more measured approach would obviously be a better course of action. I definitely believe in forgiveness and moving forward. He has a tough task in front of him moving forward with his career, on and off the field.
“As far as the business goes, right now I’m focused on football and I have people who can help me with those issues.”
From the sound of it, fans of both Wisconsin teams should not be surprised if Rodgers distances himself from Braun. That includes putting their restaurant 8 Twelve in the rearview mirror. I visited Braun’s restaurant in the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee on Thursday night and it was completely empty. Other restaurants in the area were filled but not Braun’s famous place. I cannot imagine why Rodgers would want to financially link himself to someone that appears to be going under.
The reason it is believed Rodgers and Braun’s friendship could very well be over is because of the careful words Rodgers chose in his press conference. In fact, when he was straight up asked if Braun and him were still friends, Rodgers had this to say:
“I was disappointed in the way it went down… I trusted him. That’s the thing that probably hurts the most.”
Everyone in Wisconsin feels your pain.