Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre has settled a lawsuit against sportscaster Pat McAfee after McAfee publicly apologized on Thursday for his previous statements on the air Favre ” stealing from the poor in Mississippi” in a case of welfare misspending.
Favre and McAfee both announced the settlement. McAfee, a former NFL punter, apologized during “The Pat McAfee Show” on the YouTube and said he did not have to pay Favre to settle the case.
“As I confirmed in my court papers and I repeat here, my statements expressed in the style of a comedian are based only on public information and allegations,” said McAfee, adding that he respects the career of football said Favre.
“I’d rather talk about sports than about lawsuits, so I’m glad we have all of this,” McAfee said.
Favre wrote in a Twitter post: “As Pat said, he tries to be funny and not comment based on any personal knowledge. We both prefer to talk about football.
In a lawsuit filed in Mississippi court in February, Favre’s attorneys wrote that McAfee used “outrageous lies” that included calling Favre a “thief” who “stole from the poor in Mississippi.” In March, Favre dropped the state case and filed a similar complaint in federal court.
Favre still has defamation lawsuits pending against former NFL player Shannon Sharpe and Mississippi Auditor Shad White.
Favre said Sharpe made “grossly false” statements about him in the fox Sports talk show “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” including Favre “stealing money from people who really need money.”
Sharpe’s lawyers asked a federal judge to dismiss the case, writing in a May 3 filing: “Mississippi law protects Sharpe’s right to make reasoned and critical comments on Favre’s involvement in a matter of public concern: the misappropriation of welfare funds intended for poor Mississippi families.”
White’s attorneys said Favre could not prove malice in any of the statements the auditor made about the welfare case.
White said that from 2016 to 2019, the Mississippi Department of Human Services misspent more than $77 million in welfare money. Prosecutors said the department gave money to nonprofit organizations that spent it on projects like the $5 million volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi — a project for which Favre agreed to raise money.
Favre is not facing criminal charges, but he is one of more than three dozen people or businesses the state has sued to try recover the wrong money through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families antipoverty program.
Favre repaid the $1.1 million he received for speaking fees from a nonprofit group that spent TANF money with approval from the Mississippi Department of Human Services. White said Favre never showed up to give the speeches.
In December, the department made a new demand of up to $5 million against Favre and a university sports foundation, which said welfare money was improperly used to pay for a volleyball arena at Favre’s alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi.
Favre’s daughter began playing volleyball at the university in 2017. The volleyball facility is a pet project of the NFL Hall of Famer, and he has pledged to lead fundraising efforts. State civil case filings show text message exchanges between Favre and others regarding the management of volleyball facility money from a nonprofit organization that has contracts with the Department of Human Services.