Brett Favre is viewed by many as an NFL legend. He was first drafted by the Atlanta Falcons before quickly being traded and going on to acquire fame and fortune as the Packers quarterback for 16 out of his 20 NFL seasons. Favre is currently top five all-time in career passing yards, attempts, and touchdowns. Favre is best known for winning NFL MVP three years in a row (1995-1997) and capturing his first and only Super Bowl Championship over the New England Patriots in ‘97. But contrary to popular belief, Favre is no hero.
The NFL superstar has had his fair share of off-the-field issues to accompany those accolades, yet has avoided major punishment or social retribution. In an age where cancel culture is so prevalent, Favre, much like the athletes before him, has managed to avoid the public ire that so many others have been engulfed by. But now more than ever number 4 on the field is beginning to become public enemy number 1 off it.
Favre is currently being investigated as a part of the Mississippi Welfare Fraud Scandal, a scheme first uncovered in 2020 involving the former Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant, and the former Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services John Davis. Favre stole upwards of 8 million dollars, receiving 1.1 million dollars for speeches he never gave, as well as allocated more than 2 million dollars to Prevacus, a company Favre had previously invested in, and 5 million to build a new volleyball stadium at his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi…. where Favre’s daughter currently plays college volleyball.
Favre not only stole the money but allegedly organized investment meetings and welcomed individuals heavily involved in the scandal into his home.
Favre has denied knowing that the money came from Mississippi’s State Welfare Funds, but with John Davis’ recent guilty plea and the recently surfaced messages between Favre, John Davis, and Phil Bryant, he is quickly running out of room to run.
This isn’t the first time Favre has been at the center of a controversy. In 2010 Favre was the face of an investigation led by the NFL involving disturbing emails, texts, photos, and voicemails left by the quarterback on the phone of the New York Jets field reporter Jenn Sterger. Although Sterger began receiving messages and photos from Favre in 2008 she allected not to speak up in fear of losing her job.
Sterger still ended up losing her job, and in an interview with ABC News, when talking about the Jets, Sterger stated,”…from what I could tell from interacting with the people I worked with their hey had all intentions of me coming back, and then they were just like the guy that stopped calling, you know?”
Just a year after Sterger shared the shocking news, Favre was the face of a sexual harassment lawsuit against himself, the Jets organization, and Lisa Ripi, the former NYJ massage coordinator. The suit was filed by two massage therapists and former employees of the New York Jets, Christina Scavo, and Shannon O’Toole. Scavo and O’Toole alleged Favre had sent countless lewd messages and even requested a threesome with Scavo and another unnamed therapist.
The Jets organization blackballed O’Toole and Scavo shortly after the incident, and according to the lawsuit were told by Ripi “I’ve been up there 13 years without anything that happened to me on tmz…cause it was handled internally the way it should be,”.The NFL never suspended Favre and only fined him $50,000 dollars due to him outright refusing to cooperate during the investigation.
Favre was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame just 5 years later.
These cases are extremely disturbing on their own, however, when they all are traced back to an individual held to such a high standard by football fans and Wisconsin natives alike it becomes incredibly alarming. After years of disgusting behavior by Favre and shocking amounts of ignorance displayed by the NFL and its fans it finally seemed as though the Hall of Famer would not able to escape the limelight this time. That was until recently.
This week alone has seen two NBA coaching controversies. First, 76ers coach Doc Rivers was exposed for liking, for lack of a better term, questionable posts on his Twitter account, and then, most recently, Celtics coach Ime Udoka received a year-long suspension after reportedly having a consensual workplace affair.
Normally these would be major stories however, given the circumstances there is no reason they should be burying this abomination on channels like ESPN and NESN. Yet these major networks are barely covering the Favre story and are all over anything having to do with the NBA. Brett Favre robbed thousands of people in the poorest state in the country of funds that they desperately needed, yet it is being completely ignored, and although it seems, and hopefully is, impossible that this atrocity will be forgotten, I fear that much like his previous actions, this could be overlooked in just a couple of years if Favre is not convicted.