Brett Favre Controversy: What Is Known About His Welfare Scandal in Mississippi?


Former NFL quarterback Brett Lorenzo Favre (/frv/ (listen) FARV; born October 10, 1969) spent most of his 20-year professional career with the Green Bay Packers. From 1992 through 2010, Favre set a league record with 321 straight starts, 297 of which were in regular season play.

Among his other accomplishments, he was the only quarterback in NFL history to win 200 games and defeat all 32 teams while throwing for 70,000 yards and completing 6,000 passes for 500 touchdowns.

Favre spent one year as a backup with the Atlanta Falcons after being picked in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft after playing college football at Southern Miss.

Soon after being traded to the Packers in 1992, he took over as the team’s starting quarterback, reviving a franchise that had been in decline since the late 1960s. In his 16 years as Green Bay’s leader, the Packers made the playoffs 11 times, won seven division titles, reached the NFC Championship Game four times, the Super Bowl twice in a row, and won the title in Super Bowl XXXI.


Brett Favre, future Hall of Fame quarterback, has had his reputation damaged by text message scandals. You may recall that in 2013, Favre reached a confidential settlement with two massage therapists who had accused him of sending them sexually explicit text messages while he was with the New York Jets in 2008. (All the while, Favre’s legal team disputed the charges.)

NFL officials looked into claims that Favre had emailed explicit images to a Jets TV personality. Despite the league’s inability to prove he had broken NFL rules, he was nevertheless hit with a $50,000 fine for refusing to participate in the inquiry.

Favre appears to be in the middle of an even larger issue as a result of his phone use. As Mississippi Today reported prosecutors to believe former Mississippi governor Phil Bryant and retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre conspired to steal millions of dollars from a state program designed to help low-income children and their families.

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Messages Were Made Public After Nonprofit Manager Nancy New

Who is also accused of skimming from the fund, filed them as evidence in a state civil suit against herself, Favre, Bryant, and a number of other well-connected Mississippi conservatives who are accused of receiving tens of millions of dollars in handouts with the help of the then-director of the state welfare agency, John Davis?

brett favre controversy

In exchange for their testimony, New and her son have pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft of public monies. Davis has entered a not guilty plea in the case and is currently awaiting trial.

The text exchanges, as reported by Mississippi, suggest that Favre wanted at least $5 million from the assistance program to construct a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi, where his daughter played the sport. According to Mississippi Today, most of the financial success was attributed to Favre.

Favre explicitly asks New in a text message whether he can keep the money he’s paid hidden. Is there a way the press might figure out the source and amount of any payment made to me? Favre was the one who posed the question. In light of Favre’s claims that he was unaware that the money he received came from a charity serving disadvantaged children, this is especially incriminating evidence.

New mistakenly tells him the answer is negative. And when she reported that then-Gov. Bryant had approved the transaction, Favre exclaimed, “Awesome, I needed to hear that for sure.”

The FBI Has Interviewed Favre

Neither Favre nor Bryant has been formally charged with any wrongdoing. Even Favre’s lawyer told NBC News that the newly disclosed messages don’t show anything out of the ordinary, and Favre has insisted that he did nothing illegal.

The former governor has agreed to disclose the messages, according to a statement released by Bryant’s attorney Billy Quin, who also claimed that the case should be tested in court and not in the press.

However, the newly disclosed messages appear to imply that Favre is aware of his culpability, and they may also increase Bryant’s potential criminal exposure, depending on the circumstances.

The ex-governor denies any involvement in diverting welfare funds to his cronies, but a communication Favre purportedly got from New suggests that Bryant’s name was considered for the volleyball arena’s naming. For the sake of political favor, perhaps.

As this week’s news shows, the saga of the alleged corruption is far from ending. It also appears likely that public opinion of Brett Favre will continue to fall.

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An Upshot in The Cold

With a 44-17 record in games played at temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less, Favre is widely regarded as the best quarterback to ever play in such conditions.

When Favre was starting for the Packers, they went 35-0 at home in games where the temperature was 34 degrees or lower, earning him a reputation as a player who thrives in frigid conditions.

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