ESPN says sorry for what Aaron Rodgers said about Jimmy Kimmel on the Pat McAfee Show.
ESPN says sorry for what Aaron Rodgers said about Jimmy Kimmel on the Pat McAfee Show.

ESPN apologised on Friday afternoon for the false things New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers said about late-night show Jimmy Kimmel on “The Pat McAfee Show” earlier this week.
CNN’s Mike Foss, vice president of digital production, said that Rodgers’s comments about Kimmel about the release of the court papers for Jeffrey Epstein were “a dumb and factually inaccurate joke.”

“It should never have happened,” Foss said in a statement that USA TODAY Sports got. “We all realised that in the moment.”

Front Office Sports was the first to report that ESPN was sorry. McAfee said on Friday that Rodgers will be on the show next Tuesday.

READ MORE: ESPN says it’s sorry for showing a woman flashing her breasts during the Sugar Bowl.

Foss told FOS, “The show will continue to change.” “It wouldn’t surprise me if Aaron’s role evolves with it.”

Tuesday night, Kimmel criticised Rodgers on social media, saying that he had never talked to Epstein, who killed himself in jail in 2019 and was never in touch with Rodgers.

That morning, A.J. Hawk, a co-host of McAfee, pushed Rodgers about the possible release of the court documents. The 40-year-old quarterback replied, “There are a lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, who are hoping that doesn’t come out… if that list comes out, I will definitely be popping some sort of bottles.”

Fox, which owns ESPN and ABC, where “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” airs, had problems within the company because of the situation.

Reports say that Rodgers gets $1 million a year for appearing on McAfee’s show every week. McAfee apologised in a half-hearted way on Wednesday, saying that he hopes his show is a good one that makes people feel better.

But by Friday afternoon, the show was in even more trouble.

READ MORE: The Sports Community Is Upset with ESPN’s Choice Sunday

An executive at ESPN is accused by Pat McAfee of “attempting to sabotage our programme.”
The already exciting start to 2024 for the show and ESPN took a new turn on Friday, when the host said that an ESPN official was “attempting to sabotage our programme.”

“There are folks actively trying to sabotage us from within ESPN,” McAfee stated. “More specifically I believe Norby Williamson is the guy attempting to sabotage our programme.”

When asked about McAfee’s claim, ESPN had nothing to say. This past year, the network agreed to pay McAfee $85 million over five years to use his show and do work on “College GameDay.”

Williamson has a lot of power at ESPN because he is in charge of show and studio production.
“(Williamson) is seemingly the only human that has information, and then somehow that information gets leaked and it’s wrong and then it sets a narrative of what our show is,” McAfee stated. “And then are we just going to combat that from a rat every single time?”

Andrew Marchand, a sports media columnist for the New York Post, wrote on Thursday that Disney, which owns ESPN, would put up with the trouble in exchange for high numbers. But Marchand’s story included a pretty sad look at the numbers since September, when McAfee started showing on ESPN. A lead-in show called “First Take” costs the network 48% of its viewers, but that doesn’t count the nearly 400,000 people who watch on YouTube. Anyway, Marchand says the show is down 12 percent from the same time in 2022, when a noon ET version of “SportsCenter” played.

Without giving more information, McAfee said the numbers are wrong and that he wasn’t “100% sure” it was Williamson, who he thinks is “seemingly the only human that has (that) information.”

“Somebody tried to get ahead of our actual ratings release with wrong numbers 12 hours beforehand,” McAfee stated. “That’s a sabotage attempt, and it’s been happening … from some people who didn’t necessarily love the old addition of the Pat McAfee Show to the ESPN family.”
Williamson didn’t show up for a meeting they had set up in 2018, and McAfee said, “This guy has had zero respect for me.”

After McAfee’s words went around, other people who used to work at ESPN said similar things about Williamson. Jemele Hill, who used to work for ESPN, wrote on social media “I can relate.”
Michelle Beadle, who used to work for ESPN, wrote back to Hill, “Well well well… (laughy crying emoji)” Mike Ryan, who used to be the executive director of “The Dan Le Batard Show,” posted “Pat” with three clapping emojis. Le Batard was on ESPN in the past.

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