Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ripped religion in a podcast interview with Danica Patrick, leaving his family “dismayed” and calling his comments a “slap in the face.”
Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, 36, fresh off the heels of his team’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship last Sunday, made it abundantly clear that he is an atheist during a podcast interview.
Rodgers sat down for an interview with host and girlfriend Danica Patrick on her podcast Pretty Intense, where the subject eventually shifted onto the topic of religion.
“I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell.” Rodgers said, “What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn his beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of all this.”
Rodgers discussed the fact that he was raised in a religious community as a child and that he had difficulty feeling the connection.
“Most people that I knew, church was just…you just had to go,” Rodgers recalled.
Aaron Rodgers has been estranged from his family for several years. According to an insider source who spoke to PEOPLE, religion is a part of the reason for the split between the franchise quarterback and his family.
“To them [Rodgers family],” the insider said, “his comments are basically a slap in the face to the fundamentals of who they are. The family is very dedicated to Christian faith.”
“They were dismayed” upon hearing Rodgers’s comments, the insider added. “It’s basically him turning his back on everything they have taught him.”
In 2017, during an interview with ESPN, Rodgers also spoke out against religion.
“I remember asking a question as a young person about somebody in a remote rainforest because the words that I got were: ‘If you don’t confess your sins, then you’re going to hell,’ Rodgers recalled, “and I said, ‘What about the people who don’t have a Bible readily accessible?”
“I think in people’s lives who grew up in some sort of organized religion, there really comes a time when you start to question things more,” Rodgers added.
Rodgers is likely to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the future. Rodgers led the Packers to the NFL championship in Super Bowl XLV.