The Real Reason Brett Favre Was Questioned By The FBI

NFL legend Brett Favre is being accused of having his hand stuck in the cookie jar, and many fans are calling foul. The quarterback, who spent his career-defining years with the Green Bay Packers, is widely lauded as one of the best in the game. Not only did he set the record for the longest consecutive starting streak in NFL history, but in 1997 he masterfully led his team to their first Super Bowl victory in 29 years. According to Sportskeeda, the athlete earned nearly $140 million throughout his decades-spanning career, not to mention the millions of dollars he earned by endorsing brands like Nike and Wrangler Jeans.

Now, the famed athlete is back in the headlines, but this time it has nothing to do with his innate ability to toss the pigskin. Favre recently sat down with the FBI to discuss his role in a scandal that's been slow-burning for the last two years, and accusations leveled against the former NFL star threaten to soil his legacy for good.

The quarterback huddled with the FBI over a massive scandal

According to a report by NBC News, the reason for Brett Favre's recent huddle with the FBI has to do with his alleged involvement in a Mississippi welfare scandal. According to the outlet, the retired quarterback allegedly received $1.1 million from the state of Mississippi to deliver motivational speeches in 2017 and 2018 — and while it's not uncommon for retired athletes to earn a tidy sum for their speaking engagements, Favre is accused of keeping the cash without upholding his end of the bargain. To make matters worse, it appears that the funds used to pay Favre were derived from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, a federal assistance program designed to help families in need achieve self-sufficiency. When Favre failed to deliver his motivational speeches, the Mississippi state auditor demanded the funds back along with $228,000 in interest. He obliged — although he declined to dish out cash to cover the interest that the auditor had asked for.

The investigation into Favre is part of a broader scandal alleging that $70 million worth of TANF welfare funds were inappropriately doled out to those who didn't need the cash, including former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr., a horse farm, and even a volleyball complex.

Favre says the state auditor is to blame

An attorney for Brett Favre confirmed to NBC News that his client was grilled by the FBI, but insisted that the athlete had done "nothing wrong." The attorney claimed that the quarterback was unaware that his compensation came from "money intended to help poor children." As things currently stand, Favre hasn't been accused of any criminal wrongdoing.

The star quarterback took to Twitter in 2021 to clarify his side of the story. "As I have said before, I would never accept money for no-show appearances, as the state of Mississippi auditor, @ShadWhite, claims," he wrote. In a follow-up tweet, the former NFL star assured fans that he is "doing all that I can to support this investigation to make things right for the people of Mississippi," and that he rightfully received payment for three years' worth of commercials — which he maintains that he provided — despite allegations to the contrary.

The three-time MVP then accused Mississippi state auditor Shad White of being deceptive about the case and refusing to return his calls. "Of course the money was returned because I would never knowingly take funds meant to help our neighbors in need, but for Shad White to continue to push out this lie that the money was for no-show events is something I cannot stay silent about," Favre commented. "Despite all efforts to seek clarification with the auditor, he has never granted a call back or a meeting with me, but has instead only repeatedly run to the media."

Fans aren't happy about the situation

Whether Brett Favre is guilty of any malicious intent or not will be decided by the proper authorities, but he's already losing ground in the court of public opinion. Many fans took to social media, where they were upset not only that the athlete received funds reserved for struggling families, but that the poorest state in the country would have the audacity to spend $1.1 million on motivational speeches to begin with.

"Jackson, Mississippi — the largest city in the poorest state in America whose population is 82% black has no clean water to drink. The state not only neglects the community but gave $70 million in welfare funds to Brett Favre for speeches he never made," one Twitter user wrote, while another took to the platform to offer a scathing rebuke of the former NFL player: "The biggest welfare cheat in history is white and male and his name is Brett Favre."

When it was pointed out that the head of the state's welfare agency "squandered" the funds on motivational speeches and "first class flights," many social media users called for legal action to be taken against all parties involved. "This. Is. All. Illegal. Prosecute," one user suggested, while another pointed out that the state "rejects more than 90% of those who apply for welfare assistance."