NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre finally responded to the Mississippi welfare scandal that in the last month became synonymous with his name, telling Fox News in a statement that he had no idea money that was paid to him or that went to his daughter’s school for a volleyball facility was originally intended for welfare recipients.
“No one ever told me, and I did not know, that funds designated for welfare recipients were going to the University or me,” Favre said. “I tried to help my alma mater USM, a public Mississippi state university, raise funds for a wellness center. My goal was and always will be to improve the athletic facilities at my university.”
Favre added that he has been “unjustly smeared” by the media.
To which the only appropriate response is: boy, bye. Fam, stopit. Cmonson.
You didn’t know? The media is out to get you?
At this point, the entire nation is aware of Favre’s efforts to get Mississippi officials’ help to redirect public money towards the athletic facility at Southern Miss, where he played QB and where his daughter at the time was a volleyball player. We’re aware of this because text messages between Favre himself and Nancy New, the woman who was in charge of distributing money for the needy through a nonprofit called Mississippi Community Education Center, have gone public. New has pleaded guilty to 13 felonies and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Favre’s most infamous text with New, where he asks her, “If you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much,” and when she replies with a reassurance that their arrangement would be kept quiet, isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s Favre and New metaphorically standing over the bloody body of somebody they just shot, licking the gunpowder fiendishly off their own fingers and texting each other about how good it tastes.
Favre isn’t charged with a crime. He may never be. But he knew what he was doing was foul, just like people who watch Pornhub on company-issued laptops and hope clearing the cache keeps IT from finding out. Hanging his PR defense on the nail of not knowing the money was welfare money, is flimsy, but it’s his own path to plausible deniability. Would he have immediately turned down the cash if New had texted back, “No, the media won’t find out and I’m sure the single moms who needed this money won’t mind?”
Favre made $137.8 million playing football over 20 years. He could’ve funded a new facility at Southern Miss himself if he wanted to. He could’ve gone around giving motivational speeches to his state’s needy residents on his own dime instead of arguing with the state over paying back money it gave him for speeches he never delivered. He could’ve paid for that arena, brought in 100 of the state’s neediest kids for a tour of his alma mater, and announced a scholarship for them there in his own name, or his daughters.
Then he wouldn’t have had to worry about whether the media would find out what was going on. Then, he would’ve welcomed the positive coverage.
But then, he it just wouldn’t have been Brett Favre.