When Aaron Rodgers joined the Green Bay Packers as a rookie in 2005, he struggled initially to fit into an established culture led by iconic quarterback Brett Favre. It made for a tense locker room, according to a new book about Favre.
An excerpt about the Favre-Rodgers relationship from the book "Gunslinger:The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre," by Jeff Pearlman contains this anecdote:
“Rodgers was the butt of jokes — some that he heard, many that he did not. A rumor circulated around the locker room that he was gay, based upon the fact that — unlike many of his teammates — he wasn’t one to brag about his penis size or his endless string of sexual conquests. Favre sought out Rodgers’ weaknesses (a bad throw, a clumsy scramble) and took a selfish pleasure in noting them. The problem, however, was that they were tough to find. Rodgers was Favre’s equal when it came to arm strength, and he was already, as a rookie, a far better decision maker. He read defenses like a 12-year veteran and stayed in the pocket without cowering.”
Speculation about Rodgers being gay have been longstanding in Green Bay. When Rodgers’ male ex-assistant and roommate sent out tweets that some construed as those of a jilted lover, Rodgers went on radio in December 2013 to announce that he is straight. “I'm not gay," Rodgers said. "I really, really like women. That's all I can say about that."
From what Pearlman wrote, these rumors may have started in the Packers locker room with a player who did not fit the hyper-masculine culture exemplified by Favre, who reportedly texted photos of his penis to a woman. Pearlman told me via email that this is the only reference to Rodgers and a gay rumor in the book, since Favre is the subject. (You should read the entire excerpt. There is a lot of juicy stuff showing how Rodgers and Favre loathed each other from Day 1.)
Rodgers is dating actress Olivia Munn and the ex-personal assistant hasn’t been heard from since deleting his Twitter account. Rodgers is having a mediocre season, which is leading some to blame Munn for his drop-off in performance. This in turn is leading to some ironic comments from some Packers fans:
—“Grab some dick, Aaron. WE DON’T GIVE A FUCK… If he needs a brat between his buns so we can win another Lombardi I’ll pay for his rent boy for the whole season. CHRIST!!!”
—“Aaron rodgers played better when everyone thought he was gay.”
While I have been annoyed by Rodgers’ often over-the-top pronouncements of his heterosexuality, I can see how a rumor gets started because a person doesn’t conform to the norm of his environment and then gets a life of his own.