The NFL has fined but not suspend legendary quarterback Brett Favre of the Vikings for failing to cooperate with the league during its investigation into former Jets employee Jenn Sterger’s allegations that Favre sexually harassed her via text message and voicemail in 2008.
“On the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct,” according to a statement released by the NFL. “The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger. The review found no evidence to contradict the statements of both Favre and Sterger that they never met in person, nor was there anything to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate conduct.
However, Commissioner Goodell also determined that Favre was not candid in several respects during the investigation, resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, Sterger, and the NFL. Commissioner Goodell stated to Favre that if he had found a violation of the league’s workplace conduct policies, he would have imposed a substantially higher level of discipline.”
Sterger alleged earlier this year that Favre had harassed her with inappropriate voicemails and text messages in attempt to woo her during and after his time with the Jets. Deadspin, a sports gossip website, published photos of a man’s penis that it alleged may have been sent from Favre to Sterger via text message.
Whether those photos were of Favre and whether they were actually sent to Sterger remains in doubt, apparently. FOX Sports reported in October that Favre admitted in an interview with NFL officials that he had left the voicemails but not sent the text messages.
Favre is all but assured of retiring (for good) this offseason after enduring a miserable and injury-riddled 2010 campaign with Minnesota, and we have to wonder whether the NFL has been lenient in penalizing one of its former poster children so as not to further humiliate him as he likely rides off into the sunset.
The 41-year-old QB has been a hot-button topic of debate in recent years. His personable nature has made him a favorite of many media types, but his inconsistent play and on-again-off-again retirement saga has worn thin on many.