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Black and brown women activists have filed a petition and call to action demanding that Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre be held accountable for his role in welfare fraud in Mississippi. They’re calling on Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch to immediately hold Favre and others liable in this scandal, accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
And they’re also calling upon President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene and to seek justice on behalf of low income residents of Mississippi.
It’s no secret that Black residents of Mississippi have disproportionately experienced the generational effects of anti-Black racism, Jim Crow segregation, slavery, extreme poverty, inaccessibility to quality education, and mass incarceration.
Mississippi is home to the largest population of Black people in the United States but has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Jackson – the state’s capital city – is 82% Black and has suffered a dangerous and significant water crisis over the last several years with little to no relief.
Brett Favre scandal hurt the most marginalized
This scandal to divert close to eight million dollars in public funds intended for welfare recipients is a crime against those families–Black working mothers and fathers who rely upon these benefits to provide basic needs for their children. These Mississippians deserve protection from welfare fraud and the predatory and shameful actions of those who orchestrated and engaged in this theft.
According to NBC News, Favre sought a $3.2 million grant for a drug company in which he was a shareholder and a five million dollar award that built a volleyball arena at the University of Southern Mississippi where his daughter played the sport and where he played football.
The drug company, Prevacus, was touting treatments to mitigate the effects of concussions, although none were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In some text messages, Favre suggested awarding shares in the drug company to Phil Bryant while he was governor.
The New York Times reported that Favre conspired with community education nonprofit leader Nancy New in a plan for Favre to receive $1.1 million from the nonprofit, supposedly for promotional appearances, that he would also funnel to the volleyball facility.
Activists urge companies to cut ties with Favre
To date and in light of mounting public scrutiny, Favre has repaid $1.1 million that was owed for speeches he never gave but it is a far cry from the over eight million that was stolen during this scandal. Also, according to auditor Shad White, Favre still owes at least $228,000 in interest.
The activists applaud and support ESPN and SiriusXM for demonstrating corporate responsibility and pausing their sponsorships of Brett Favre’s shows in light of these harmful and egregious accusations that are coming to light. The activists urge them to use that same energy throughout this process, proclaiming that corporations should not reward people who take food and resources out of the mouths of hungry children and families.
They’re also calling on other corporations such as Copper Fit to follow suit and to act with integrity in light of this scandal by cutting ties with Brett Favre.
Despite clear evidence of fraud, the millionaire hall of famer still has not been criminally charged or prosecuted for his role in this crime nor has he paid anything in restitution and/or reparations to poor people in Mississippi. It is clear that Brett Favre’s white male privilege and celebrity status are being used as shields to protect him from accountability and criminal charges for allegedly embezzling welfare funds.
Brett Favre and his accomplices owe the people of Mississippi a check and an apology. And they must be brought to justice for their unconscionable acts. If you believe the same, support the activists calling for accountability by signing this petition.