Mississippi already has enough struggles to deal with being the country’s poorest state with a capital fighting through an ongoing water crisis. On top of that, they now have to worry about a former NFL quarterback who made millions of dollars stealing from those struggling to make ends meet. The NAACP has asked the Department of Justice to look into $94 million of welfare fraud misspending in the state.
Brett Favre had already received $1.1 million between 2017 and 2018 for speeches he never gave. Now an extensive report from Mississippi Today reveals that former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant helped Favre obtain welfare funds to build a new volleyball center at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Texts from 2017 and 2019 were filed Monday in the state of Mississippi’s civil lawsuit over misspent welfare funds. The kicker is that Favre’s daughter was on the team at the time. Within this chain, Favre, Bryant, and founder of the Mississippi Community Education Center Nancy New were allegedly trying to figure out ways to repurpose $5 million in welfare funds that could be used to build the new stadium.
“If you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?” Favre asked New in 2017.
After telling Favre that “we never have that information publicized,” she circled back to him the next day. “Wow, just got off the phone with Phil Bryant! He is on board with us! We will get this done!” New told Favre.
Favre’s attorney, Bud Holmes, denied the former NFL quarterback knew he was taking welfare funds. Favre was said to have paid back $600,000 of the funds received for speeches. However, as ESPN notes, the state auditor’s office reported that he initially gave back $500,000 of the amount. The Mississippi Department of Human Services filed a civil lawsuit against Favre because he had not paid back the requested interest on top of the total amount. Favre and Bryant have not been criminally charged.
Brett Favre is said to have made a little over $140 million during his entire playing career but still feels the need to take from the poorest of people. He could have quickly dropped the money for the new stadium, but why take it from his home state, where over 15 percent of citizens are considered food insecure? It’s a terrible look in a situation where the well-off feel they can do anything they want without repercussions.