Why NFL Doesn’t Mind Aaron Rodgers Making Controversial Headlines? Stephen A Smith Reveals

Analyst Stephen A. Smith claims the NFL doesn't condemn Aaron Rodgers' controversial statements because the QB's polarizing persona drives ratings, despite potential drawbacks.

Dev
Written by Dev , Writer
Published on May 17, 2024 | 05:31 PM IST | 57.7K
Analyst Stephen A. Smith claims the NFL doesn't condemn Aaron Rodgers' controversial statements .
Aaron Rodgers and Stephen A. Smith (Image Credits: Getty Images)

Stephen A. Smith, the outspoken ESPN analyst, recently made a surprising statement, accusing the NFL of purposefully overlooking Aaron Rodgers' continuous controversial remarks and headlines. Smith believes that the league sees Rodgers' polarizing personality as a way to boost ratings. 

"The NFL never calls out Aaron Rodgers, no matter how outrageous his comments get," Smith stated emphatically on ESPN's First Take. "Why? Because the negativity surrounding Rodgers sells. Positive or negative, as long as it's making headlines, the NFL doesn't care."

Aaron Rodgers' Divisive Nature Keeps Fans Hooked 

According to Smith, the NFL embraces Rodgers' ability to divide and captivate audiences, whether through galvanizing or divisive actions and statements. 

"Love him or hate him, you can never be indifferent about Aaron Rodgers," Smith argued. "His words and actions always compel a reaction from fans, which is exactly what the NFL wants – passionate viewership."

However, Smith acknowledges that the NFL's willingness to overlook Rodgers' controversies has its limits, citing instances where the quarterback's actions may have crossed a line. 

"I doubt the NFL was thrilled when Rodgers picked a fight with Jimmy Kimmel and Disney, or when he praised Vladimir Putin, or constantly ripped the league's COVID-19 policies," Smith said. "There's a point where negativity becomes too much, even for the ratings-hungry NFL."

Smith also suggests that Rodgers' constant stream of outrageous narratives and conspiracies may have reached a saturation point, potentially diminishing their impact.

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"Rodgers' controversies are becoming repetitive and predictable," Smith noted. "The NFL might be breathing a sigh of relief if his outrageousness has peaked."

Jets in the Spotlight because of Aaron Rodgers 

Despite the potential drawbacks, the NFL has scheduled the New York Jets, Rodgers' new team, for six primetime games in the 2024 season, suggesting a willingness to capitalize on the attention surrounding the quarterback.

"The Jets' head coach might not appreciate the constant distractions caused by Rodgers' headlines, but the NFL knows fans will tune in regardless," Smith said.

As Smith bluntly summarized, "The NFL is willing to absorb criticism and negativity because they know fans will watch no matter what – on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, you name it. As long as Rodgers keeps generating headlines, the NFL doesn't seem to mind."

While Rodgers' controversies may be a double-edged sword, Smith's analysis suggests the NFL is willing to embrace the quarterback's polarizing persona, at least for now, as long as it translates into ratings and viewership.

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ALSO READ: Are Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers ‘Public Enemies’ of NFL? NFL Hosts Make Surprising Claim

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About The Author
Dev
Dev
Writer

Devang Watkar aka Dev is a print and broadcast journalist with a relentless passion for storytelling. Known for a

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