Earlier this month, Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre was connected to an embezzlement scheme in his home state of Mississippi. The state auditor found that Favre had been paid $1.1 million for appearances that were never made by a nonprofit called Mississippi Community Education Center, which was funded with federal welfare grants.
In a tweet, Favre claimed that he didn't know he was being paid out of money that was supposed to be helping people in Mississippi on welfare and that he would pay back the money.
2/4 I have never received monies for obligations I didn’t meet. To reiterate Auditors White’s statement, I was unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi.
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) May 7, 2020
Nate Scott, the managing editor for USA Today's sports site For The Win, says this story shouldn't just be about the $1.1 million that was paid and returned. Instead, he says it should be about the fact that more welfare funds may have been spent to causes important to Favre instead of to the people in Mississippi on welfare.
"[The Mississippi state auditor] doesn't go into how $5 million ended up financing a volleyball stadium or how state welfare money went into a concussion research facility," says Scott.
The problem for Scott isn't the creation of a new stadium or funding concussion research, it's that this money was meant specifically for Mississippians on welfare.
"The danger here is, perhaps, by bringing on a very famous athlete endorser, this organization felt duty-bound to support the causes important to him but in doing so they neglected the people of the state of Mississippi," says Scott.
Even though it should be on Favre to research and know where the money comes from for organizations he decides to support, he does have a certain level of plausible deniability throughout the entire story.
"This isn't someone walking into a bank with a gun and robbing it. This is murky," says Scott.