After Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers got themselves into the 2014 playoffs on a last-minute touchdown drive, there must have been someone out there who wasn’t a fan. In fact, maybe they were a Chicago Bears fan just looking to get back at the guy that knocked their team out of the playoffs?
This week, a rumor surfaced that Rodgers had been involved in a gay relationship with his personal assistant and roommate, Kevin Lanflisi. If you’d like to read the entire statement made by a so-called “spy” that had been allegedly following Rodgers for a while, you can read it here.
Tuesday, however, Rodgers appeared on 540 WAUK-AM in Milwaukee, and chatted with radio host Jason Wilde on his show in regards to the rumor. Here is a bit of the exchange that went on between Rodgers and Wilde on the air:
“Occasionally people get upset when you say no to a picture when you’re eating or something. That’s kind of the hard part. Or, if you get kind of crazy rumors that swirl around you at time (laughs).”
Wilde immediately, sarcastically responded, “I have no idea what you could be referring to! Oh, you mean the Aaron Rodgers is gay story?”
Rodgers continued to laugh.
“So you’re aware that you saw this out there?” Wilde asked, while still laughing.
“Yeah, I’m just going to say I’m not gay. I really, really like women (continues to laugh). That’s all I can say about that.”
Wilde went on about how Rodgers’ personal life has always been very private and that he admires Rodgers for being able to keep it that way, since many athletes have a hard time doing so.
“There’s always going to be silly stuff going on in the media that just, you know, you can’t worry too much about. And, I don’t,” said Rodgers. “Professional is professional, and personal is personal. And, that’s the way I’m going to keep it.”
Well, there you have it folks. One of the greatest quarterbacks in the game is not gay. But, what if he was? This rumor sparked a completely different debate for a short period of time this week, and actually, I don’t think it will end. This would not have been like NBA veteran Jason Collins coming out. No, you would have had a future Hall of Fame quarterback coming out as being gay.
I saw comment after comment, joke after joke and plenty of hate speech coming from the mouths and keyboards of people everywhere when this rumor began. If Rodgers really was gay, how would that affect you? How would that affect the rest of the league? How would it affect professional sports as a whole?
In short, it shouldn’t. Whether or not a player is gay has absolutely no affect on his or her performance. Would it have been somewhat of a shock? Certainly, how could it not? But, should it change the way we look at him as a person and player? Absolutely not. Shame on those who took to hatred and mocking this week over a mere rumor.