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Report: Brett Favre apologizes to Vikings for being distraction

Updated at 2:25 p.m.

Brett Favre apologized today to his Minnesota Vikings teammates for being a distraction to them.

Favre, according to a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen apologized during a team meeting this morning and told his teammates he is prepared to play "lights out tonight", Mortensen reported.

The Vikings play the Jets tonight in New Jersey's New Meadowlands.

Filed at 7:40 a.m.

The NFL investigation into allegations that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sent inappropriate photos and messages to a female New York Jets employee is continuing and when it is completed Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would "make a determination" about whether Favre should be punished.

"We are going through that and we are making sure we understand all the facts," Goodell said at halftime of the Chargers-Raiders game in Oakland. ESPN reports that the investigation, which began Thursday, is on a fast track.

ESPN reports that Favre, whose Vikings play the Jets tonight, was asked about the allegations at a "Monday Night Football" production meeting and would not comment directly on them, other than to say he has not been contacted by the NFL.

"My main focus is the New York Jets, they are a tough team; as good as they are that has been my focus," Favre told ESPN. "I hate in any way if this has been a distraction as I said Thursday -- we are here focused on trying to beat the Jets."

As for the allegations and investigation, Favre said: "That will take its course."

Favre, according to Deadspin reports, allegedly left voicemails and texted lewd photos to Jenn Sterger, who worked for the Jets at the time and now works for Versus. Reports involving Favre, a 41-year-old father of two and a grandfather, and two female massage therapists who worked part-time for the team surfaced Friday. ESPN reports that investigators have not yet interviewed Sterger or the massage therapists.

Favre said he would have "no problem with talking to the commissioner" if he is asked.

If Favre is found to have violated the league's personal conduct policy, he could face a fine and/or suspension and there is a recent significant precedent for punishment; Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just finished serving a four-game suspension for violating the conduct policy.

"Don't automatically assume that Favre, if found culpable in this case, is going to get a suspension because he has no previous violations of the Personal Conduct Policy," Peter King, who covers the NFL for NBC and Sports Illustrated, told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio on Sunday night. But, he added: "They could find the offense so heinous that they could suspend him, but it's not automatic."

The allegations certainly add another level of spice to tonight's game between the Vikings and Jets in New York -- not that Favre's return to the Jets, for whom he played in 2008, needed it.

"We just talk about what's out there and look it right in the eye and deal with it to the extent we can," Childress said Saturday of the allegations. "It doesn't affect anybody else in this locker room, except Brett Favre."

The Vikings, at 1-2, need a win and the game tonight features the return of Randy Moss to the Vikings. That ought to be enough for anyone. Instead, Moss was involved in a little drama of his own, as reports of a dustup with Tom Brady about hair surfaced Sunday. Good grief. Sexts and voicemails and manspats over Brady's Bieber-hair? This is some NFL season we've got here.

Mike Wilbon: Is this the final chapter for Favre?

By Cindy Boren  | October 11, 2010; 7:40 AM ET
Categories:  Brett Favre  
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Allegations? WHAT allegations? That he asked a pretty girl to go out with him? Is there now something wrong with that?

As to the allegation that he sent her a naked picture, the girl was nude in Playboy for crissakes. If she has a problem with nudity, she certainly conceals it better than she chose to conceal anything else.

No, Bret Favre should not be suspended. I know that some women want to completely eradicate guys from the face of society, but I, being a guy, don't think that's a particularly good idea.

The biggest mistake anyone in America ever made (and, believe me, we've made a few) was when the Indians failed to eradicate the Puritans quickly and cleanly in 1620.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | October 11, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

To gokusc1: If you want your opinions regarding this "serious charge" you should leave out your snarky, unrelated, and nasty comments out of your posts.

Posted by: krazyj2472002 | October 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey, there. This is a reminder to, as krazyj sez regarding a comment that was deleted, keep the comments clean. Lovelovelove your feedback, but let's stay cool.

Posted by: Cindy Boren | October 11, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Sexual harassment (which is what Brett Favre did if its true) is a suspendable offense and in many ways its one of the worst things you can do.
Goodell has to suspend for at least as long as what Roethlisberger got, perhaps longer because it involved a fellow employee.

Posted by: templetontherat1978 | October 11, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

First make sure the photo and voice is Brett . How many time have we left our cell phones lying around and one of our buddies decides to borrow it.

Posted by: jercha | October 11, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

this can't be right.

a jock likes pretty girls that are hired by the team to give massages?

a jock likes pretty girls that are hired by the team as a tv personality. this woman got famous by wearing low cut blouses and tight high cut skirts.

jenn sterger = ines sainz

how is this newsworthy? he's a football player, not a christian coalition politician or preacher.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Did he ask her out or flat out proposition her? Let's see the picture. Does he merely have his shirt off or is he naked?

I do know this; if a man makes an unwanted advance its sexual harrasment but how do you know if it's unwanted until it's made?

If a woman makes an unwanted advance no one thinks anything of it?

Posted by: sbf845 | October 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Did he ask her out or flat out proposition her? Let's see the picture. Does he merely have his shirt off or is he naked?

I do know this; if a man makes an unwanted advance its sexual harrasment but how do you know if it's unwanted until it's made?

If a woman makes an unwanted advance no one thinks anything of it?

Posted by: sbf845 | October 11, 2010 10:32 AM

Since Brett Favre is not her boss he would have had to create a hostile work environment through severe or pervasive harassing behaviors.

Asking a woman out (if you are not her boss) is not sexual harassment. Calling her a dirty name after she turns you down is not sexual harassment. Calling her a dirty name repeatedly would cause a hostile work environment and would therefore be a hostile work environment.

true story: I once had a woman (who was a horrible DBA) claim sexual harassment because a co-worker referred to his wife as 'baby girl' when he ended his conversations with her over the phone. I was required to notify my boss, who notified 'legal'. Since the guy being accused was a sub-contractor, the company considered terminating his contract since you don't have to have a reason for letting subs go. Since she made the claim, I couldn't get rid of her and had to keep her on the team for almost a full year before she decided to transfer to another project that was closer to her house.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 11, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Sexual harassment (which is what Brett Favre did if its true) is a suspendable offense and in many ways its one of the worst things you can do."

"One of the worst things you can do?" On what possible scale that might be used to measure relative evildoing would this be?

Worse than murder? Worse than rape? Worse than arson? Worse than robbery? Worse than burglary? Worse than embezzlement? Worse than fraud? Worse than assault? Worse than a minor traffic infraction?

Perhaps only in the last of those might there be some reasonable argument, but it is certainly still arguable.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | October 11, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

As long as he didn't rape anybody, this should not affect his job. He's just an old dirty man whose wife is probably getting cold on him--not a cause to be fired or suspended.

Posted by: forgetthis | October 11, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

And just by the way, sexual harassment has to have some aspect of persistence to it, and is usually not recognized unless it is someone in some supervisory or management capacity inflicting the unwanted advancements on a person over whom they exercise authority. Neither seems to be the case here.

He asked out a woman he wanted to go out with. He showed her his, after she had showed him (and everyone else) hers. What's the problem?

This complaint (if indeed that's what it is -- but I haven't heard that any formal complaint was ever made) is a little bit like the 50-ish woman (from Lynchburg, of course) who sat in front of me at the Nats' 2009 home opener against the Phillies. After Josh Bard had just struck out I asked rhetorically "Why in hell is he even on this team?" She called the usher and tried to have me ejected because I had said the dreaded "'H' word" (as she put it).

The poor usher, a very nice, cute girl who I might have risked being charged with "sexual harassment" and asked out myself, if I weren't already married, was a little bit confused, particularly since we were surrounded by unusually obnoxious and crude Phillies fans screaming far worse (the Nats were ahead at the time).

Like I said, the Indians at Plymouth should have acted more decisively in 1620 and America might be a far better country today.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | October 11, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Why be so stupid as to use electronic media to leave a trail of anything remotely resembling any type of misconduct or rule violation?

Posted by: 10bestfan | October 11, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Jesus. Has chauvanism really become such a defensive reaction, or is Favre really this bulletbroof?

If he sent an unsolicited nude text to a woman who was employed as a sideline reporter, he crossed a line and should be suspended. I don't understand how that's even debatable.

(I pity the HR departments where some of you work.)

Posted by: JohninMpls | October 11, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

If it wasn't Favre talking and sending the pics, what did he apologize for? Interesting that this married grandfather didn't apologize for anything but being a distraction to his teammates. At least he has his priorities. BTW, major league sports does have rules of conduct regarding things that aren't illegal. Fair or not. Favre will still be a multimillionaire for having played a ball game.

Posted by: Sutter | October 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Breaking your poll results down by gender would be interesting. Had to explain to my co-workers, who misunderstood when I read it and exclaimed "Wow, look at the poll on Brett Favre."

Anyway, he sort of HAD to apologize in person. I mean, most of those guys weren't going to open any text messages he sent 'em.

Hopefully, he can get his mind back on the game. We know he's aware of the spread:
http://j.gravelle.u s/Portals/0/FavreSpread.png

...and like they say, football's a game of inches:

As for how many inches, that's Roger Goodell's job to find out.

Mad props to any guy who thinks his package translates well to a two-inch cellphone display, though...


Posted by: jgravelle | October 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

He apologized for "being a distraction" ????? He is always one GIANT distraction. From "will I retire?" Come back?
If so when ? After training camp? Who do I want as coach? Teammates ? Please, this guy is a living distraction. He is such an egomaniac that he can't stand being out of the limelight !

Posted by: jmsbh | October 11, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

This is all completely out of control...

I'm very much in favor of women (and/or men) having access to sexual harassment laws to protect them from REAL sexual harassment, ie. "sleep with me or lose your job", or inappropriate touching etc... BUT for heaven's sake, a random advance?!?!?!?

We're losing our collective minds...

Posted by: dialogal | October 11, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's see here, a women who poses nude and makes a living off of sex is complaining about a man making advances at her?
Give me a break. How did Favre even get her number? Could there have been some flirting going on before and a number given out?
Then two years later, just when she is doing a Playboy spread and right before the Jets game with Favre in town, this comes out. There is no shortage of sleaze going around with this story. I think the only punishment that should be handed out is the one his wife will deal him.

Posted by: th12 | October 11, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Sending a picture of your genitals is okay and foreplay?

Maybe in Mississippi and Milwaukee Brett...but you are in Minnesota now! They are more professional there.

His wife should dump this clown! She has stood by him through all the high jinks and addictions...enough is enough!

Yet another professional athletic embarrassment!

Posted by: Badger21 | October 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Brett Favre apologizes to Vikings for being distraction...

... because he really only likes being a distraction July-September.

Posted by: daggar | October 11, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice Wilbon yet again making race-baiting comments in today's column?

"We'll see if the hypercritical morality police officers who sentenced Woods to damnation for his philandering ways are as heavy-handed with a fair-haired quarterback and the face of mainstream America's favorite sport . . . or if Tiger's transgressions are deemed to be somehow 'different.' We'll see"

"Somehow different"? You must be joking Wilbon. Everyone who has ever read your column knows that you view everything in life through a racial prism, but seriously..'somehow different'? Even if every single one of Favre's alleged transgressions turn out to be true--and that is far from a given--it would still monumentally pale in comparison to what Woods did...and that is not because of any white bias, as you no-so-subtly implied.

Sending lewd photos, leaving racy voicemails, going too far with a massage therapist..even if every one of these allegations are true, is Mike Wilbon really serious when he rhetorically asks if the public will deem them to be "somehow different" from Woods. Wilbon, take off your racial victimhood glasses for one you REALLY think the allegations against Favre are identical to this?! ????

Posted by: Barno1 | October 12, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

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