The NFL has fined Brett Favre $50,000 for a “failure to cooperate” with the investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and lewd photos to a former New York Jets game-day hostess.
The league says Commissioner Roger Goodell “could not conclude” that Favre violated the league’s personal conduct policy based on the evidence currently available.
The league’s statement also says Goodell determined Favre was “not candid in several respects during the investigation resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, (Jenn) Sterger and the NFL.” The league’s investigation began in October and the fine was announced Wednesday.
Favre allegedly sent messages and photos to Sterger two years ago when they were both with the Jets. The allegations against the 41-year-old Minnesota Vikings quarterback surfaced on the website Deadspin.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
NEW YORK (AP) — Brett Favre will be fined but not suspended for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after the league’s investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and lewd photos to a former New York Jets game hostess, The Associated Press has learned.
A person familiar with the decision says the league plans to announce its decision within the next 48 hours. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the NFL had not yet released its decision.
The person did not specify what the league found in its investigation.
The punishment was first reported by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.
Favre allegedly sent the messages and photos to Jenn Sterger two years ago when they were both with the Jets. The allegations against the 41-year-old Minnesota Vikings quarterback surfaced in October on the website Deadspin.
It posted a video Oct. 7 that included text messages and voicemails allegedly left by the quarterback for Sterger, including one in which he invites her to his hotel. The video ends with several below-the belt photos — said to be of Favre — which were allegedly sent to Sterger.
A former model who also appeared on the Versus television network, Sterger refused to speak on the record to the website. Weeks after the story broke, she talked with league investigators and cooperated fully, according to her manager.
Deadspin editor in chief A.J. Daulerio acknowledged paying a third party for the material it posted on Favre and said that he could not guarantee the material was genuine. Deadspin also reported that Favre pursued two female massage therapists who worked part-time for the Jets, according to one of the women, who spoke anonymously to the website.
Citing unidentified sources, Fox Sports reported earlier that Favre admitted to NFL investigators that he left the voicemails but denied sending the inappropriate photos.
A three-time league MVP, Favre has consistently refused to answer reporters’ questions about the allegations. He said early on that he had enough to worry about with the Vikings’ next opponent, and that’s certainly been true this season.
Convinced to come back for one more run at a title by three Minnesota teammates who flew down to see him in Mississippi, Favre’s second year with the Vikings has been nothing like the charmed run of last season, which ended with a heartbreaking loss to New Orleans in the NFC championship game.
Ever since he threw a critical interception in that game, things haven’t been the same for Favre on the field. He’s now the 30th-rated passer in the NFL, just ahead of Jimmy Clausen and Derek Anderson, having thrown 19 interceptions after tossing just seven last season.
Favre also has been battered with injuries to his ankle, chin, ribs, back and shoulder — the last of which ended his NFL record for consecutive starts at 297 three weeks ago. A crushing hit he took against the Buffalo Bills sprained his throwing shoulder and kept him out of the following game, a Vikings loss to the New York Giants.
He surprisingly started last week against the Bears, but was knocked out in the second quarter with a concussion and missed Tuesday’s victory over Philadelphia.
Despite all his troubles, Favre has said all along that he did not regret coming back for a 20th NFL season.
“If you had seasons like you did last year, every year, I don’t think you would appreciate them nearly as much,” said Favre, who has said this season will be his last — though he has retired and unretired before.
The Vikings finish the season at Detroit on Sunday, and interim coach Leslie Frazier said Favre would start the game if he is healthy.