Brett Favre cleared (sort of) in Sterger affair

The NFL has fined Favre $50K for "lack of cooperation in the Sterger investigation, but also said it couldn’t conclude he had violated any League policy:

So that’s that. Favre is innocent. There will be no suspension. The fine for “failure to cooperate” is kind of bullshit, but it’s pocket change for him.

You know better than that. He was never charged with anything and nobody has found him innocent. The league decided there wasn’t enough evidence of wrongdoing to punish him. That’s partly because this all happened a couple of years ago and it’s hard to tell who really sent the wang pictures and such, but it sounds like it’s also because Favre didn’t want to cooperate. I’d say the message to the players is that if the league is investigating you, don’t cooperate any more than you have to. The penalty for not cooperating will be less than the penalty for doing something wrong.

Innocent until proven guilty. It isn’t necessary for anyone to “find” him innocent. I will also point out that Sterger has still never even filed any formal complaint or made any public accusation of sexual harassment.

…in a court of law.

When you say that someone is innocent, you are saying they did not do something they were accused of doing. The NFL decided they couldn’t punish Favre because there was not enough evidence he violated their policy. I don’t really have a problem with that, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t send the texts. And I believe he did acknowledge sending the voicemails.

True. I have no idea what she wants, or wanted, out of this whole deal.

There was nothing inappropriate about the voicemails, if they can’t prove he sent the texts, then we he deserves to be presumed innocent of sending them.

She didn’t start it. Deadspin did it without her cooperation. Deadspin says she never wanted anything to do with it.

What “forensic analysis” was done? Does that just mean the NFL couldn’t prove the pictures were of his johnson?

He’s not being punished for sending the texts, so I would say he is being presumed innocent. As to whether he really sent them, I have no idea. Since Favre apparently didn’t cooperate fully and I’m not sure how much Sterger wanted to be involved with it either (her lawyer sure sounds pissed about the decision), I am not sure anybody’s ever going to know what really happened here other than the two of them. I thought she had communicated directly with Deadspin about the whole thing, am I wrong?

The article says it means they couldn’t prove Favre sent them at all.

Did Favre ever publicly deny sending the texts? Sorry, I didn’t follow through with this one to the end, but I remember his initial comments were pretty much “no comment.”

Her lawyer’s probably just pissed that Favre wouldn’t give them a payoff.

The Deadspin story was that Sterger mentioned the texts and voicemails off the record (in a casual, light-hearted discussion about all the pro-athletes who send her dick shots) during some kind of unrelated Deadspin photo shoot or something (I forget exactly what). Deadspin wanted to do a story about it, but Sterger wouldn’t cooperate and wouldn’t give them the texts or voicemails. Dedaspin said it subsequently acquired the voicemails and pics from a third party, not Sterger, and that it couldn’t verify whether the pics were really of Favre. Sterger had no cooperation with it, and has still never made any public allegations.

He admitted to the voice mails to NFL investigators, but denied the texts. As far as I know, he has still never said anything but “no comment,” publicly.

That doesn’t make sense. If they wanted money, they could easily sue, and you’ve already said she didn’t want anything to do with the whole thing. Unless you think this lawyer is in the habit of spouting off without the approval of his client, I guess.

Favre’s and Sterger’s lawyers had a period of some sort of undisclosed “communications,” while the NFL was asking to tak to Sterger (something she was not legally obligated to do) which apparently broke down, Shortly afterward, she decided to talk to League investigators. You can do your own math there.

They can still sue if they want to, but my guess is that Favre’s lawyers feel comfortable that they can’t prove anything, ergo, no need for a payoff.

That sounds more like “they couldn’t agree on a price” than “Favre wouldn’t give them a payoff.” In any event that doesn’t say much about his innocence.

Maybe they couldn’t agree on a price, or maybe they tried to shake him down and Favre refused to pay a dime.

Pull the other one. The NFL just hit him with a $50,000 fine for not being forthcoming in their investigation, so it sounds an awful lot like he and his lawyer decided the best strategy was to clam up because ultimately, the league could not prove he did anything wrong without his cooperation. So he had little incentive to cooperate. From a legal standpoint he probably did the smart thing and I’m sure he was entitled to do it. None of that makes him innocent. Your comments about Sterger seem totally inconsistent. How can you argue she tried to shake him down at the same time you’re pointing out she’s never filed any charges and didn’t want any part of making this public?

Those things are not contradictory. She filed no complaint, made no public accusations and had no cooperation with the Deadspin article. She also had her lawyers talk to his lawyers. we don’t know what they said, but asking for a shakedown not to talk to investigators does not amount to a public accusation, Favre’s apparent refusal to pay her speaks to his innocence. He is cleared. If no finding and no accusation of sexual harassment isn’t sufficient to call somebody “innocent,” what is?

That’s not true either. It speaks to a decision that it wasn’t worth his while to pay her what she was asking or whatever they might have settled on. Whether he really sent the pictures or not, paying her might’ve been worth it up to a certain dollar figure and not above based on the facts and his lawyer(s) and such. The fact that he got fined for being “not candid in several respects during the investigation” does not speak to his innocence.
At the end of the day, the NFL was not going to be able to prove he sent those texts if he didn’t admit it. Even if they could prove they came from his phone, and I’m not sure that was possible, that wouldn’t mean he sent them. And they couldn’t have proved it was his dick either. Goodell isn’t a judge and he can’t compel Favre to strip to the waist for an examination.

A finding that he didn’t send the texts or didn’t violate the league’s policy would do it for me.

No such finding is possible. Basically you’re saying the internet rumors alone (there is no formal complaint or public accusation) are sufficient to sustain an assumption of guilt unless he can somehow prove a negative.

If they found it was sent from someone else’s phone, or determined the dates the texts were sent and they proved Favre was somewhere else, that would be very strong evidence he was not responsible for them. Or for that matter if they found evidence he was having a consensual affair or a mutual flirtation with Sterger, that would also indicate he didn’t do anything wrong. The issue here was sexual harrassment, not adultery.

In any case I don’t think Favre has to prove anything. I think if the NFL said it found strong evidence he didn’t send the texts or violate any rules, that would be strong enough evidence to say he’s innocent. Failing that, the league also could have said he was totally cooperative and there was still insufficient evidence he broke a rule. That would also support his innocence a lot better than the league’s actual finding. It wouldn’t be proof, I guess, but it would be better. What the league said today is that it can’t prove he broke a rule because (or partly because) he didn’t cooperate fully with the investigation. I understand the decision not to punish him based on whatever inconclusive information they have, but I also see there is plenty of daylight between their ruling and a determination that he didn’t do it.