On Friday, Pat McAfee got a pretty good chuckle out of Brett Favre’s defamation lawsuits against him, FOX Sports Commentator Shannon Sharpe, and Mississippi State Auditor Shad White over their responses to the Hall of Famer’s ongoing welfare scandal. The documents were filed on Thursday.
The former NFL punter turned multi-faceted media personality issued a humorous response to Favre’s lawsuit against him on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday.
McAfee used the situation as comedic fodder and said that the program had finally ‘made it’ by being sued by the NFL Hall of Famer. He dismissed any chance that Favre would win a decision against him.
Throughout his rebuttals on the show, he repeatedly pointed out that he, nor any of his co-hosts, said that Favre was guilty of anything. Instead, they just mentioned the various allegations, without actually passing any public judgment.
Therefore, the comments wouldn’t be grounds for any legal action regarding defamation. But that hasn’t stopped the former three-time NFL MVP or his lawyers from pursuing it, anyway.
Favre has received heavy criticism for his involvement with what is alleged to be seriously fraudulent activity. McAfee has not been alone in his criticism of the QB, who was once viewed as a treasured ambassador for professional football. Unfortunately, multiple off-the-field issues over the years have sullied his once heroic reputation.
Bret Favre’s ongoing welfare scandal has been a legal and public relations nightmare.
In 2020, Favre was first accused by Shad White of receiving $1.1 million in federal funds by way of Mississippi for appearances he never made. The retired star originally defended himself by saying he made the appearances and did not know the origin of the money he was paid.
However, text messages later surfaced that showed Favre secretly asked former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for the funds. At different times, Bryant warned Favre that what he was asking for might be illegal.
Undaunted, Favre secured the money for the construction of a volleyball stadium at his alma mater, Southern Mississippi University. It allegedly utilized $5 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds by way of The State of Mississippi and an additional $1.1 million from Favre.
In other words, The Old Gunslinger is alleged to have stole from the poor to give to the rich. At least, that’s what it looks like to most observers: The hungry and homeless continued to do without, so that a sparkling new sports facility could be built.
The scandal has already seen multiple parties plead guilty to criminal charges. Favre has not been charged with a crime, but he is facing a civil lawsuit from Mississippi.
Brett Favre is also pursuing legal action against former NFL star Shannon Sharpe and Mississippi Auditor Shad White.
The official complaint against White reads, in part: “Shad White, the State Auditor of Mississippi, has carried out an outrageous media campaign of malicious and false accusations against Brett Favre — the Hall of Fame quarterback and native son of Mississippi — in a brazen attempt to leverage the media attention generated by Favre’s celebrity to further his own political career.”
It adds, “By shamelessly and falsely attacking Favre’s good name, White has gained national media attention he previously could have only dreamed of, including appearances on television shows on CNN and HBO, a popular ESPN podcast, as well as interviews for print and online media.”
White’s official response came through his media relations director, Fletcher Freeman:
“Everything Auditor White has said about this case is true and is backed by years of audit work by the professionals at the Office of the State Auditor. It’s mind-boggling that Mr. Favre wants to have a trial about that question. Mr. Favre has called Auditor White and his team liars despite repaying some of the money our office demanded from him.”
“He’s also claimed the auditors are liars despite clear documentary evidence showing he benefitted from misspent funds. Instead of paying New York litigators to try this case, he’d be better off fully repaying the amount of welfare funds he owes the state.”
As of press time, Shannon Sharpe, the other party named, has not commented on the suit filed against him by Favre.