In Sports Commentary

In case you were visiting Mars and haven't yet heard, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 for his role in the alleged Jenn Sterger texting fiasco.

A woman's view on the Favre mess

So who else thinks the penalty passed down from the NFL regarding Brett Favre's alleged sexual harassment is a total joke? For the most part, I've been impressed with Commissioner Roger Goodell's work. Aside from allowing Michael Vick to play in the league again, he's been pretty even-handed in his rulings. The measly fine handed down to Favre is nothing but a slap on the wrist, if that. It'd be more appropriately described as a love tap.

Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money to people like you and me. Fifty thousand dollars to Brett Favre is a drop in the bucket. The New York Times reports the fine "represents less than one percent of Favre's $16 million salary this season and is less than some of the fines the NFL has handed out in its crackdown this season against helmet-to-helmet hits." Now, I get that helmet-to-helmet fines need to be big numbers. People die when those situations go wrong, but was Favre's fine just a parting gift?

There was little point in suspending him and it's no secret that the NFL purposely drew out the length of time spent on the investigation so Favre could finish out the season. Supposedly he's really retiring this time and, though I don't agree with his conduct as of late, even I would hate to see his career end in suspension. But hitting him with a fifty thousand dollar fine is laughable.

The NFL claims they couldn't find evidence that he "violated league policy on workplace conduct" so instead they fined him for his lack of cooperation with the investigation. How many companies do you know that wouldn't take a text message from your phone as evidence that you sent a text message to your subordinate? What would happen to you if you sent a subordinate employee in your workplace a picture of your junk? How many companies do you know that allow their employees to sexually harass each other without serious consequences? There are plenty of workplaces where this would result in severe consequences, up to and including dismissal.

It appears this Favre drama, retirement or not, could be far from over. Attorneys for Jenn Sterger claim she hasn't yet decided whether or not to pursue further legal action against Favre. Most women I ask about this situation take the stance that Sterger knew what she was doing and that harassment was just the convenient term that came out of what began as a great ego boost and fun story to tell friends over drinks. After all, this story even came with pictures.

Of course, anyone could make any number of speculations about this story and its circumstances. There are too many unanswered questions not to draw intense scrutiny. Why didn't Sterger come forward earlier? If she was truly feeling threatened and harassed, why did she leak the photos and voicemails to other people rather than going straight to her employers or lawyers? How many other women has Favre harassed on the Jets staff, or elsewhere? Two more women came forward this week to file complaints against him.

And, somewhere in the back of every woman's mind is the question "why would a guy like Favre obsess over this woman, a woman that's ended up costing him more than fifty grand, when he could get a piece of ass from countless women anywhere, who don't work for his own employer?"

It shouldn't be surprising to any of us, least of all Sterger since she works in the industry, that celebrities are treated differently than us 'normal working folk.' If she was legitimately harassed then I hope things turn out well for her and she gets some closure and gets to continue with her career as best one can after something like this. But if she's just a manipulative slut now trying to play the victim I hope she gets shipped off to work with some team in Siberia. Because if she is faking the harassment, she's not helping women who really do have to deal with these issues in a "normal" workplace.

As for Favre, I'm hoping he's really going to retire this time. The news reported that there were moving trucks outside his Minnesota house already, packing up all his Wranglers and heading down to Mississippi. My suggestion would be that, if that's all the NFL is going to fine him, then in addition, Favre should spend some time talking with women that have been sexually harassed in the workplace. And, while he's at it, picture each one of them as one of his own daughters in a similar situation.

At least he thanked the Packers in the end and it even seemed genuine. It's tough to imagine this could be my last Favre-related blog. Tear. So anyone else think there should've been a stiffer penalty?(Pun intended.) Anyone going to miss him?

Talkbacks

shorewood | Jan. 12, 2011 at 12:26 p.m. (report)

Does any of this really matter anyway? He's a perv and she sends out mixed signals. How did he get her personal cell number anyway? Things that make you go hmmm....?

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sandstorm | Jan. 12, 2011 at 8:17 a.m. (report)

sorry realtalk. i don't know the entire story so i haven't taken sides. please show me in my post where i'm defending Sterger. .......................i'm waiting........... yeah, that's what i thought. so you know what? that makes your post very unclear. i never called out Favre for this. i don't know...maybe you replied to the wrong person??? now THAT'S embarrassing. almost embarrassing as using "PS" like a little kid in every other post.

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inquire | Jan. 11, 2011 at 11:52 p.m. (report)

"Of course, anyone could make any number of speculations about this story and its circumstances. There are too many unanswered questions..." Sorry for the harsh criticism a couple comments earlier. After taking another read, I think your column is pretty even handed. The NFL's approach to Favre's fine may have been in part a reaction to the fact that the Sterger scandal broke about a week before the Jets-Vikings game, appearing to be timed to adversely affect Favre's game. I'm sure they didn't like this. Who knows what all they know that hasn't been disclosed, having worked with all the parties involved? We only read about what the injured party tells the Press.

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realtalkbaby | Jan. 11, 2011 at 11:02 p.m. (report)

sandstorm, If you took more than 2 of the brain cells you claim to have and look up sterger between oct 11 and oct 29 2010 you will see that nitelife is right because allison torres said all that in a magazine interview and on a radio interview and there was other players because Sterger told Torres. You are just defending her beacause A she looks nice (to you, I think trying to embarass people proves your ugly,but your post indicates you have no standards so we wil leave that alone.) B you are a favre hater If a Rachel Maddow type had done all this would you be on her side like you are defending this loser sterger? No, get off your high horse mr perfect and cut the crap. Next time if you call out Favre call out Brady Quinn and the other players she was involved BTW is that clear enough for you? Snob.

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sandstormaxsufqzccawfzdsebyyxyfsxetftuvvc | Jan. 11, 2011 at 2:08 p.m. (report)

"by the way I am what I like to think of as a educated woman" your poorly written makes the argument that you are not as educated as you think you are. and you really don't know any of the people involved or the true story on either end. you're simply choosing to side with your hero, your crush, and your idol. it colors your whole post and makes your claim to be using "common sense" nothing more than nonsense. get a clue. get a life. get a grip. because you surely don't "get" this.

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