Kevin Lanflisi has been Aaron Rodgers' roommate and personal assistant for years. Now the gossipy corners of the Internet are whispering that Lanflisi did far more than "assist" the Packer's quarterback. Gossip website Fame Driven, received a "spy" email several days ago, tipping them off to "bitter subliminal tweets on Kevin Lanflisi’s twitter alluding to a relationship much deeper than a friendship." Here's what we know:
1. Lanflisi Is a 'Hip-Hop' Gospel Poet
In this youtube video from 2008, Lanflisi recites a spoken word monologue titled "Let it Shine." Lanflisi's poem is deeply Christian in its themes, but some lines suggest the poet's opposition to strictly dogmatic biblical interpretations :
Sons and Daughters sink deeper into depression Harboring bitterness from unanswered questions
While all the while we with truth engage in debate over spiritual don'ts and dos
Paralleling the sweet love of Jesus to an insignificant fruit
2. Lanflisi and Rodgers Have Been Living Together Since 2008
In an interview with The Sporting News from 2008, Rodgers was asked if he lived with anybody. He replied:
"I've got a roommate, a guy I met in town. He works for the Packers now as an athletic trainer, but he was interning when I met him and we just hit it off. He's been great for me as far as great conversations outside of football. Our friendship goes a lot deeper than what we do."
The spy who wrote to Fame Driven, lays out the case for a Rodgers/Lanflisi romance:
Aaron has attended numerous sports award shows with Kevin, always color coordinated and without any double female dates, including the ESPY’s. Kevin was also the first person Aaron embraced when the Packers won the Super-bowl in 2011. I just find it really strange that as of late there has been many bitter subliminal tweets on Kevin Lanflisi’s twitter alluding to a relationship much deeper than a friendship he had, with who I perceive to be Aaron Rodgers, because Kevin has NEVER once tweeted about having a girlfriend, just mainly about the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, and Justin Bieber’s music and sitting front row at Bieber’s concert. There has been speculation for years here in Wisconsin that Aaron is gay.
In an Milwaukee Magazine interview from last year, Rodgers said that when meeting other celebrities, he tended to judge them "based on how they are to people like Kevin. Kevin, he's not a famous person. I want to see if they give Kevin the time of day, or if they big-time him."
3. A Source Claims Rodgers Considered Coming Out Last Summer
According to Queerty, this past summer, two or more closeted NFL players were contemplating coming out simultaneously. An unnamed source claims Rodgers was involved, but backed out "at the last minute," infuriating Lanflisi, and possibly inspiring this tweet from September (since deleted):
According to The Fame Driven, Lanflisi left Wisconsin for California sometime in the past couple of months. In early December, he published a series of bitter enigmatic tweets, suggesting he had just suffered a rough break-up, writing: "All that time spent on 'us' is now spent on 'me.' Which means I have more time to excercise,read, write, dream and save..." and "I wish you would learn to love people and use things...Not the other way around."
While queerty's headline suggests Lanflisi has "outed" Rodgers, it appears the only evidence for this assertion are the aforementioned enigmatic tweets.
4. Rodgers Has a Longtime Girlfriend
One fact that should give every speculator pause, is that, according to International Business Times, Aaron Rodgers has been in a relationship with a childhood friend named Daisy Newton since at least 2011. The two reportedly met at a church camp as teenagers. The IBTimes piece suggests that their relationship is the one serious romance of Aaron Rodgers' life, and before Lanflisi was the subject of gossipy cheese-heads, the internet was wondering if the couple might be secretly engaged.
5. There Are No Openly Gay, Active NFL Players
Last spring, rumors began circling that an NFL player was on the verge of coming out as gay. Speculation intensified when former Baltimore Raven and Gay rights advocate Brandon Ayanbadejo told interviewers that a player would come out "sooner than you think."
According to the Bleacher Report, at that time an unidentified gay NFL free agent had come out to a group of friends and advisers, and was in talks with a team interested in signing him, and supporting him, once he made his orientation public. Obviously, this plan fell through.
At the end of April, NBA player Jason Collins became the first major American athlete to come out as gay, while still active in his sport. Some have speculated that the fanfare attending Collins' decision may have spooked the gay NFL player or his team.
In the United States of America, the lurid details of a celebrity's personal life are recognized as every child's god-given right. But if we lived in an alternate universe, where the privacy of all was respected, unless there was a compelling public interest in violating that privacy...would Aaron Rodgers' sexuality be any of our business?
Business Insider's Josh Barro would argue yes. In a piece written for Bloomberg, in the wake of Jason Collins' coming out, Barro argued that closeted athletes have an ethical obligation to come out:
"Unlike the military, sports teams are not bureaucratic enterprises where attitudes can be changed by orders from above. Instead, they will have to change the way broader society did: through gay people making themselves known to be existing, nonthreatening and valuable...Gay athletes will expose themselves to career risk by coming out. They ought to do it anyway because of the broader positive effects they can create."
Barro argues that gays who hold privileged cultural positions have an obligation to come out, to make life easier for those closeted by more trying circumstances. But the pressures against coming out in pro football are wholly different than those in the news media. Several team officials told the Bleacher Report, the "largest obstacle to an openly gay player is the resistance of a significant number of NFL owners and a smaller number of general managers and coaches."
Aaron Rodgers will lead the Packers against the San Fransico 49ers in next week's Wildcard Playoff game.