Charles Barkley says he would’ve punched Aaron Rodgers in the face for disparaging comments on Jimmy Kimmel

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley made it very clear he would not have tolerated Aaron Rodgers in any way linking him to the infamous Jeffrey Epstein sex offender case, as the New York Jets quarterback did to Jimmy Kimmel.

“I’d have punched him in the face,” Barkley said of Rodgers.

The former NBA star and current high-profile TNT analyst then added to the remark he made in an appearance on “CBS Mornings.”

“You know what the hell ‘punch him in the face’ means,” Barkley said. “I think when you’re in the limelight, people get to say things about you that goes with the territory. But when you start comparing people, saying you’ve been hanging out with pedophiles — people having sex with underage girls; that’s dangerous to me.”

Rodgers has said that Kimmel was among those who might be worried about the names being released in connection with the Epstein case. The late-night talk show host fired back at the outspoken NFL veteran by bringing up the possibility of legal action and also in a monologue on his ABC show.

It is the latest among many controversies the former longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback has ignited during his weekly appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Rodgers was injured in the first quarter of his first regular season game with the Jets and did not play the rest of the NFL season. That did not prevent him from remaining in the spotlight, primarily through his weekly appearances on McAfee’s program.

The 40-year-old provided constant updates on his attempt to recover from his Achilles tendon injury and return to the field this season, a quest that ultimately fell short as many people correctly foresaw. The Jets finished with a 7-10 record and failed to make the playoffs yet again.

Rodgers followed up on his comments about Kimmel this week but stopped short of an apology for his remarks.

Barkley is not the only media figure to criticize Rodgers for his comments about Kimmel. Howard Stern was vocal in his disdain for Rodgers while supporting his friend, and ESPN NFL reporter Dan Graziano also had harsh words for the famous antagonist.

McAfee himself even expressed some relief that Rodgers’ weekly appearances are over for the time being.

“Aaron Rodgers is a Hall of Famer, he is a four-time MVP, he is a massive part of the NFL story whenever you go back and tell it,” McAfee said. “We are very lucky to get a chance to chat with him and learn from him. Some of his thoughts and opinions, though, do piss off a lot of people.

“And I’m pumped that that is no longer going to be every single Wednesday of my life.”

The case was back in the news after documents were unsealed this week in relation to a defamation lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein.

Rodgers’ comments dragged the sports world into that sordid affair for no particular reason, and Barkley’s forceful comments regarding the matter have only added to the troubling situation.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.