Stephen A. Smith on The Stephen A. Smith Show Photo credit: The Stephen A. Smith Show

Stephen A. Smith is wondering why Pat McAfee apologized to Jimmy Kimmel after Aaron Rodgers connected the ABC host to Jeffrey Epstein.

On his latest appearance with McAfee, Rodgers insinuated Kimmel’s name might surface on Jeffrey Epstein’s list of associates. Four years into his partnership with the polarizing quarterback, McAfee is used to fielding criticism for their often-controversial segments, but he’s catching extra heat after handing Rodgers the platform to recklessly link Kimmel with a convicted sex trafficker.

After observing the Disney-on-Disney crime, Stephen A. Smith addressed the issue on his podcast by coming to McAfee’s defense.

“I can applaud Pat McAfee for apologizing, but let me be the first to say, he didn’t need to,” Smith said. “He didn’t do anything wrong. It’s his show, the show is live, he didn’t know what Aaron Rodgers was going to say.”

That’s exactly the problem, McAfee didn’t know what Aaron Rodgers was going to say, but he knew Aaron Rodgers was going to say something. Maybe if this was three or four years ago, McAfee could have justifiably pleaded ignorance to something Rodgers said. But Rodgers has since used McAfee’s platform to spark controversy enough times that it nullifies ignorance of being a justifiable excuse.

“I do feel like Pat McAfee hit the nail on the head when he said Aaron Rodgers was just taking a dig at him [Kimmel], he was just joking around, he wasn’t necessarily serious about such a thing,” Smith continued. “But let me say this to Aaron Rodgers – Jeffrey Epstein ain’t nothing to joke about. I love Aaron Rodgers, everybody knows he’s a bad man, you know me. But Aaron Rodgers should just apologize. Plain and simple. Just uncomplicate the situation. Even if you don’t like Jimmy Kimmel, say that too!”

McAfee’s apology was plain and simple. He quickly passed the blame to Rodgers and attempted to wipe his hands clean of any wrongdoing. But Rodgers? Uncomplicate the situation? That doesn’t appear to be his modus operandi.

Rodgers endangered Kimmel and his family by linking him to Epstein hours before the list of associates was set to be made public. Telling Kimmel, ‘I don’t like, you but I’m sorry,’ may have worked if he was “just taking a dig” or insulting the ABC late-night host, but this incident warrants a stronger response.

[The Stephen A. Smith Show]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to