Poor Aaron Rodgers. Siblings everywhere were showering each other with praise on Tuesday’s #NationalSiblingDay, a hashtag which took over social media platforms Twitter and Instagram and allowed siblings of all sorts to sing the praises of their family. But in the case of the Green Bay Packers quarterback, he was seemingly stiffed on getting any love from his brothers when his younger brother, former Bachelorette contestant Jordan Rodgers, posted a photo of himself and his brother, Luke, but pointedly left Aaron out of the photo. What gives? Is this just further proof of a rift in the Rodgers family? Or was it an honest accident?
On Instagram on Tuesday, Jordan shared a photo of himself and his older brother, Luke, looking very smiley. “I’ve looked up to this guy since I was a little kid. He is the coolest, best dressed, has the biggest heart, lovable, best griller, little kid big brother I could ask for. Love you bro!” he captioned the sweet pic, adding a lighthearted jab. “Still jealous of your facial hair… #butnotthebodyhair.”
Then, around the same time Jordan posted his tribute, Luke kicked in a tribute of his own over on his Instagram. Alongside a picture of himself posing with Jordan, Luke wrote, “Missing this dude big time. Come back to #Nashville @jrodgers11 #nationalsiblingday #brothers #babybro #swolepatrol.”
Neither Jordan nor Luke chose to make any mention of their middle brother, Aaron. Per People magazine, a source close to Aaron speculates that this move from his brother was “probably intentional, and the whole family knows it.” The source also noted that “there is always drama” between the brothers, but didn’t seem to want to elaborate on what this drama was, exactly.
I think it had to be intentional. When you have siblings, it’s an all-or-nothing kind of deal. Unless you make a separate post honoring the skipped sibling, you just don’t leave anyone out of a National Siblings Day tribute. You just don’t do this kind of thing unless you want to stick it to them in some way. Such an omission is a glaring error when you have a tight-knit family.
As the middle child of three siblings, I’ve always empathized with Aaron when it comes to the relationship between the Rodgers bros. Aaron chose to leave the family nest and pursue a different lifestyle, and it clearly wasn’t something the rest of the family felt aligned with their closeness. But c’mon, guys, give Aaron a break! He’s kind of a big deal in the world of professional sports. It’s unfortunate his family doesn’t support him in all that he’s achieved.
Besides, it felt a bit unfair the way Jordan aired their family grievances on national television during his time on The Bachelorette, telling the camera, “Me and Aaron don’t really have that much of a relationship. It’s just kind of the way he’s chosen to do life, and I chose to stay close with my family and my parents and my brother.”
The tension reportedly traces back several years before The Bachelorette ever aired, when a family “blow-up” fractured the family. As family drama tends to go, things were said that shouldn’t have been said between Aaron and Jordan, and it forced other family members to take sides.
“Their parents got involved in the middle of it,” a source told People in 2017. “Everyone needed a cooling-off period. It could have ended there, but some people chose to go public with it, rather than keeping it a private family matter. And here we are.”
And so it seems to stand today. Tellingly, Aaron posted a collection of his favorite photos from 2017 on Instagram, and his parents and siblings were noticeably absent from the nostalgic album. There were plenty of pictures of his team, a few celebrities (why, hello, Dave Grohl!) and many friends… but no family.
There’s always next year, though, right? We’re not giving up on the Rodgers clan coming back together just yet.