During a recent segment on The Pat McAfee Show, New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers playfully dubbed Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce “Mr. Pfizer” in reference to Kelce’s advertisements for flu and COVID-19 vaccines. Kelce lightheartedly fired back, framing the jest as a face-off between “Mr. Pfizer” and “The Johnson & Johnson family”, nodding to the Johnson family’s ownership of the Jets.
However, the playful banter escalated during Rodgers’ subsequent appearance on the show, when he proposed a vaccine debate with Kelce. He went further, suggesting that they each have a sidekick for this debate: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a well-known vaccine skeptic, for Rodgers; and the former White House medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, for Kelce.
This whole interaction, to me, shows exactly why the Pat McAfee show will not work on ESPN in the long run. https://t.co/rBGghQrDyD
— Michael Sykes, II (@MikeDSykes) October 10, 2023
Upon airing, the clip was immediately shared on social media by McAfee’s official account. Additionally, ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter highlighted the exchange, branding it as “the potential next great American debate.”
Many criticized ESPN for giving attention to a debate that might revolve around debunked theories. Dustin Gouker, a gambling reporter, commented, “ESPN should be ashamed of promoting this charade. It’s veering into OutKick territory.” Schefter also faced scrutiny for amplifying the segment.