Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has found himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons over the last few months, and he’s now hitting back.
Favre sued media personalities – and former NFL colleagues – Shannon Sharpe and Pat McAfee for defamation on Thursday, alleging that both made false statements about the his alleged involvement in a welfare scandal.
The lawsuit claims Sharpe defamed Favre’s character by saying on “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” that he “stole money from people that really needed that money.”
Favre has connections to Sharpe, as he played with his brother, Sterling, for three seasons in Green Bay. Favre also faced Sharpe in Super Bowl 32.
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McAfee, meanwhile, called Favre a “thief” on his show and echoed Sharpe in saying he was “stealing from poor people in Mississippi.”
Favre considers these statements false, but he’s been accused of redirecting welfare funds in Mississippi away from those who need them.
Favre allegedly convinced former governor Phil Bryant to put millions of dollars in welfare funds toward a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi, where his daughter played the sport. Favre also attended the university.
Additionally, Favre received more than $1 million for speeches he did not make. He returned those funds in 2021 as ordered by state auditor Shad White, who he’s also suing for defamation.
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While Favre has denied most allegations of wrongdoing and has not been criminally charged, leaked texts revealed he asked the Mississippi Community Education Center founder in 2017, “If you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?”
For that reason alone, along with the fact Favre is a public figure and is held to a different standard in defamation lawsuits, the cases against Sharpe and McAfee might have a difficult time standing up in court.