Jets QB Aaron Rodgers reaches new low with grudge-filled attack on Jimmy Kimmel

In order to fully understand why Aaron Rodgers told a vicious, despicable lie about late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, saying on the "Pat McAfee Show" Kimmel had a potential connection to the list of Jeffrey Epstein‘s associates, you have to know one of the biggest things that fuels Rodgers. It's grudges.

I've said this before: Rodgers is a world-class grudge holder. Everyone in the NFL knows this. He never lets any slight, no matter how small, go. "He kept grudges close to his chest," former Packers teammate Jermichael Finley once said of Rodgers. "If you did something, he never really let it go. He always kept it close to his heart."

There are many layers to this sordid story. How ESPN and ABC are owned by the same Disney company and the fact Rodgers potentially defamed a top star under the same corporate roof. Or how McAfee for a long time has enabled some of the worst of Rodgers' conspiratorial, ugly instincts. Or how maybe ESPN is finally getting what it deserves having no guardrails for McAfee's show. All of this is true.

But the most important part of this story, and something people may not know, and why it became a story in the first place. Grudges to Rodgers are his fuel. He makes his list and checks it twice.

Why did Rodgers go after Kimmel? To me, it goes back to the fact that Kimmel has mocked Rodgers and, to me, Rodgers has for months wanted to go back after Kimmel. For whatever strange, weird reason, Rodgers picked this moment and Epstein to do it.

In March of last year, Rodgers was on the McAfee show, and talked about Epstein. “Did you hear about the Epstein client list about to be released?” Rodgers said. “There’s some files that have some names on it that might be getting released pretty soon.”

Kimmel mocked Rodgers for discussing the list (and UFOs of all things). Kimmel played a clip of Rodgers on his show and said of the quarterback: "It might be time to revisit the concussion protocol, Aaron.”

Kimmel also called Rodgers a "tin-foil hatter."

I promise you: this is why Rodgers said what he did about Kimmel. He never forgot Kimmel mocking him before millions of people on his popular show. Their disagreements may go back even further and the grudge even deeper than we know.

More news: Jimmy Kimmel strikes back at Aaron Rodgers after he speculates comedian is on Epstein list

"Dear (expletive): for the record, I’ve not met, flown with, visited, or had any contact whatsoever with Epstein," Kimmel responded, "nor will you find my name on any 'list' other than the clearly-phony nonsense that soft-brained wackos like yourself can’t seem to distinguish from reality. Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court."

A district judge is expected to soon release more than 200 names believed to be associated with Epstein, who died by suicide inside a jail cell in 2019. Conspiracy theorists have long speculated who would be on the list.

McAfee opened his show on Wednesday saying all Rodgers was doing was "talking (expletive)." But Rodgers wasn't just talking smack. Saying you're going to defeat your buddy in fantasy football is talking trash. What Rodgers did was a universe beyond talking trash.

Kimmel has a right to be upset and this is Rodgers reaching a new low. Because it is the type of thing that can cause massive problems for Kimmel and his family. A star like Rodgers, with his own platform, magnified by McAfee's, transforms it into toxic sewage.

And maybe that's the other lesson here. It's impossible to believe that behind the scenes at Disney, Kimmel, a real star, isn't expressing his intense displeasure with Rodgers to that company's top executives. McAfee has skated far too long allowing Rodgers' conspiratorial trash to pollute his (and ESPN's) air. But if Disney gets involved this could get really interesting.

It was reported by the New York Post in October that McAfee pays Rodgers millions for the exclusive interviews he conducts with Rodgers.

"Our company went from being valued, and I know this because I own the company, so I actually know this, our company went from being valued from anywhere between $2-$5 million a few years back, to like over $500 million," he said. "And I'm not saying that just to flex. I'm saying that because as a human that knows that, all the people that have helped that happen have all been paid very handsomely. That is what business is in my eyes. That is what you do in the world."

The problem now is the show has taken quite the drastic turn with what Rodgers has done. And it all has to do with a stupid grudge.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Aaron Rodgers reaches new low after taking Jimmy Kimmel grudge too far