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Souhan: Rodgers should go on a long walk to the end of the Earth

Do us a favor, Rodgers:

I can't wait for Aaron Rodgers' Hall of Fame induction speech.

He will ask for fences to be erected around Canton, Ohio, so nobody falls off the edge of our flat Earth.

He will look skyward and wonder if the airplane chemtrails are poisoning us, so the gub'mint can control our minds.

He will refer to the more than 1 million deaths due to COVID-19 in America as a hoax.

He might accuse anyone he doesn't like on the stage or in the audience of being a pedophile.

The highlight, though, will be the induction speech sung by Elvis.

One of the saddest competitions in the NFL the last few years has been between Rodgers and Brett Favre, the two great former Packers quarterbacks who forced their way out of Green Bay.

Favre is accused of scamming poor Mississippians and could go to jail. Rodgers is worse.

His ignorance of modern medical science and his eagerness to suggest that TV star Jimmy Kimmel is a pedophile should make him unemployable.

Rodgers used his weekly appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" to wrongly accuse Kimmel of being on the list of people who flew to "Epstein Island," where Jeffrey Epstein is alleged to have offered sex-trafficking victims to his guests.

Kimmel fired back, asserting his innocence and threatening legal action. Rodgers, again on McAfee's show, said he was glad that Kimmel wasn't on the list but stopped short of apologizing.

This is how far Rodgers and ESPN management have fallen. Rodgers is rich beyond imagination and could spend his life doing whatever he wants. He insists on displaying his particularly aggressive form of ignorance, but in what he regards as safe spaces for him.

McAfee's show became that safe space, because McAfee, a former NFL punter, was trying to build his brand, and his conversations with Rodgers drew attention and conferred upon him, in some circles, a form of legitimacy.

ESPN likely would not have been interested in his show if he had not been able to prove he was relevant. Now McAfee is ESPN's new star. He's everywhere, and he got to be everywhere by allowing Rodgers to prove just how uninformed and disgusting he really is.

Rodgers also appeared to lie this season about his ability to come back from a torn Achilles tendon, offering McAfee medical updates.

Please understand: He was never going to play this season. He knew that encouraging speculation about his potential return would keep him in the spotlight.

Rodgers is also a reminder that we live in a time where disinformation is rampant. So many athletes, during the COVID shutdown, said they were going to "do their own research" before deciding whether they would get vaccinated. They didn't do their own research. They found someone on the internet who agreed with their incorrect conspiracy theories.

Were Rodgers merely a vaccine denier, he would be nothing more than another annoyance to those who believe in science. Again, he's far worse.

In the wake of Rodgers' comments about Kimmel, McAfee had a chance to establish himself as an ethical and independent broadcaster.

Not surprisingly, he failed. He sounded worried about repercussions and announced that Rodgers would not be on the show, appearing to be bowing to ESPN management pressure. Then he clarified, saying that Rodgers' appearances end after the regular season, and that he could be on again in the future.

Rodgers' latest unveiling of his underdeveloped brain would be a problem for the New York Jets, if the Jets had any standards. But they had to know how Rodgers behaved behind the scenes and during offseasons when he was with the Packers. He was a pain. On HBO's "Hard Knocks," the showrunners all but superimposed a halo on Rodgers. He was treated, by the show and his team, like a god.

We've all got to figure out where to draw the line when it comes to supporting problematic athletes.

Rodgers falsely accusing someone of pedophilia stands well beyond that line — way over there past that tree, where he thinks the Earth ends.