Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have led the Green Bay Packers to a narrow victory during the 2017 playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, but his family did not share in the celebration.
“Fame can change things,” Ed said.
Word of the family’s rift became public knowledge in the spring of 2016 when the quarterback’s younger brother Jordan appeared on JoJo Fletcher‘s season of The Bachelorette. While on the show, Jordan revealed that although he was very close with his oldest brother Luke, Aaron is estranged from the rest of the family.
Aaron also didn’t appear when Fletcher went to California to meet the Rodgers family during the hometown dates episode of the reality show.
“It’s just the way he’s chosen to do life,” Jordan explained on the show. “I chose to stay close with my family and my parents and my brother [Luke].”
Luke went on to explain that although the family tries to not bring up the drama, they are all deeply affected by the situation.
“It pains both of us like, not to have that relationship [with Aaron] – we miss our brother,” Luke revealed on the show. “I trust that God brings things full circle and that everything would just get back to us being a family.”
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At the time, Aaron told ABC’s WISN 12 News that he hadn’t been following Jordan’s quest for love on the small screen.
“I haven’t seen the show, to be honest with you, so it hasn’t really affected me a whole lot,” said Aaron, adding that he didn’t want to elaborate on his relationship with his family.
“As far as those kinds of things go, I’ve always found that it’s a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters, so I’m just – I’m not going to speak on those things, but I wish him well in the competition,” he said.
“You know, I didn’t even think about it going into the show,” he admitted at the time. “I probably should’ve. I just wasn’t familiar with the show, but my goal was to be honest with her every step of the way.”
He went on to admit that he thought it was necessary in order for Fletcher to get to know him better.
“You don’t get any time off camera,” Jordan added. “So, we’re talking about really trying to get to an engagement – you got to share everything. It had to be talked about.”
Although the star went on to get engaged to Fletcher, the couple shared in August 2016 that Aaron had yet to meet his brother’s fiancée.
“It’s the same situation that it’s been, but it’s not something that we – it’s not the focus for us right now, it’s about us,” Fletcher explained at the time.
Jordan likewise emphasized his relationship moving forward.
“Anything with my family, JoJo’s been a part of my family, and any conversations we have about that moving forward are with us and about us, and we’re excited about starting that journey with our families,” he said. “I’ll be in Dallas closer to her family, and so we’re ready for that.”
“There’s no scenario in which I wouldn’t want my entire family at a wedding, so absolutely, that’s something all of our family wants and hopes for at some point,” he said.
Although a date hasn’t been set for the nuptials, Jordan and his wife-to-be agreed it was going to be a celebration for the ages.
“It’s going to be a big wedding!” he added. “There’s going to be a lot of people there. We can’t wait to take a deep breath in a few days and get settled in Dallas and then really start planning that.”
According to the New York Times, Aaron allegedly stopped talking to his family members at the end of 2014, shortly after he began dating actress Olivia Munn.
“Airing public laundry is not what I would have chosen,” Ed said about his family drama making the news, adding that it was “hard to tell” if there had been a thaw in his chilly relationship with his son.
Meanwhile, Jordan moved to Dallas to live with Fletcher. In December 2016, the couple talked to PEOPLE about how they are “happier than ever” since the show’s finale.
“With all the craziness that comes along with the media and the show, it would have been much harder to do it not living together,” Jordan said of moving in together. “And we both cherish the time we get to spend together. It was a no-brainer.”
Then in January 2020, the Rodgers family was back in the news regarding Aaron’s comments about religion. During an intimate conversation with now-girlfriend Danica Patrick on her Pretty Intense podcast, the Green Bay Packers quarterback said that he had trouble connecting with his religious community as a child.
“Most people that I knew, church was just… you just had to go,” the Super Bowl XLV champion recalled. The comment did not go over well with his family, a source told PEOPLE.
“They were dismayed,” the source said. “The family is very dedicated to their Christian faith.”
“To them, his comments are basically a slap in the face to the fundamentals of who they are. It’s basically him turning his back on everything they have taught him.”
The insider also said that religion has been part of the reason for the estrangement.
“The feeling is that Aaron has really turned his back on them,” said the insider. “There’s clearly a lot more to it, but that’s how he is perceived by his family.”
“His comments are very hurtful to the family,” continued the insider, who says that the family “still loves Aaron very much,” but disagrees with him about fundamental things. “They have these times where things start to thaw out, but then something like this happens, and then it’s back to square one. It’s sad.”