Brett Favre's indiscretions are gonna cost him. Though not much.
For allegedly sending unsolicited photos of his junk and other graphic and lewd texts to a female franchise employee, the NFL today decided not to suspend the quarterback, but instead fined the outbound Minnesota Viking $50,000.
In other words, less than 1 percent of his current season salary ($16 million, thanks for asking) and, it's been pointed out, less of a fine than the league tends to dish out for helmet-to-helmet hits.
So, obviously, they're taking this very seriously.
Favre allegedly yet infamously sent the messages to Jenn Sterger, a game-day hostess, back in 2008, when both were under the employ of the New York Jets (he accepts responsibility for leaving voicemails only).
In a statement released today, the NFL said it found no evidence that Favre's behavior violated its policy against workplace conduct. Which suggests that they may want to think about revising that particular document.
However, the league hinted that any impropriety would have taken place on private time and amid personal relationships, for which the league does not intervene.
"On the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct," the NFL said. "The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger.
"The review found no evidence to contradict the statements of both Favre and Sterger that they never met in person, nor was there anything to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate conduct."
So everyone was acting on their best behavior? Not quite.
"Commissioner Goodell also determined that Favre was not candid in several respects during the investigation, resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, Sterger, and the NFL."
So, lesson learned. Send whatever photos to whoever you want. Just do it without drawing attention.
Sterger's attorney, Joseph R. Conway, unsurprisingly released a scathing statement in the wake of the "punishment."
"My client and I are extremely disappointed, but not surprised, at today's NFL announcement that Brett Favre did not violate the NFL 'workplace conduct' policy," he said. "While I am not privy to how Mr. Goodell reached such a finding, we strongly disagree with his conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to support a violation of the policy.
"To the contrary, our evidence and the personal testimony of Ms. Sterger clearly showed a pattern of lewd and offensive behavior by Mr. Favre that lasted all of the 2008 season…in addition to the offensive messages, there was ample evidence to show that the sexually explicit photographs were part of Favre's inappropriate behavior."
Conway went on to say that the decision "completely failed to address the complicity of the New York Jet organization in Favre's conduct," and slammed the league for giving Favre "preferential treatment."
"Today's decision is an affront to all females and shows once again that, despite tough talk, the NFL remains the good old boys' league."