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NEWS BLOG - A nasty rumor

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)   I have no idea if Aaron Rodgers is gay. You don’t either. All we have is a rumor, via Twitter, sparked by someone who used to be a friend. It’s vicious.

Kevin Lanflisi, who some are claiming to be Rodger’s boyfriend, has Tweeted a series of photographs. One shows Lanflisi posing with a wrestling-style championship belt that says “Built Ford Tough” – supposedly a gift to Rodgers for TV commercials he’d done. The photo is captioned “silence always comes with an expiration date.”

Rodgers and Lanflisi were roommates. They were friends, although it’s not clear what’s happened more recently. There appears to be a falling-out.

Anyone who becomes famous can be victimized by this kind of rumor. Former girlfriends, ex-wives, acquaintances who think they’ve been slighted over the years can either reveal secrets or simply make things up. And there’s no way to dis-prove something that didn’t happen.

I find the rumor hard to believe. Rodgers has a girlfriend, Destiny Newton. Social media has also been on “engagement ring watch” with her for at least a year. There were also reports that Rodgers was supposed to come out of the closet with a larger group of NFL athletes this summer. This may be revenge for him backing out. But other athletes did not come out.

Here are my feelings on all of this: Tweeted photos of a pro athlete with a male friend isn’t proof that someone’s gay. Nor are photos of that person with memorabilia. Rodgers gets the benefit of the doubt.

If Rodgers is gay – and I don’t think he is – I hope his choices aren’t between leading a secret double-life or being blackmailed. If he were to come out, many people would say “who cares?” Public opinion is more gay-friendly than ever before. And it's a conservative view that what happens in private is none of our business. And if you can’t cheer for him anymore because of sexual preference, that says more about you than him.

Chris Conley

Image: Aaron Rodgers, cropped, by Mike Morbeck [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons