Question of the day: Has the NFL overstepped its bounds by investigating Brett Favre’s alleged indiscretions? [Updated]
Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in concerning recent allegations against NFL quarterback Brett Favre during his time with the New York Jets. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
Is the NFL overstepping its bounds by looking into the accusations against Favre? Of course not. It’s something that allegedly happened in the workplace, when both Favre and Jenn Sterger were employed by the Jets. It’s just as if it happened between two cubicles in an office.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has shown in the past that he’s serious about enforcing the personal-conduct policy, regardless of who the player or league employee is, so it will be interesting to watch how this unfolds. If the investigation were to drag on through the season, a suspension probably wouldn’t be applicable because this is almost certainly Favre’s last year. But the potential damage to his personal life is obvious, and of course this could affect his marketability.
[Updated at 9:23 a.m.:
Dave Hyde, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Employee A allegedly leaves lurid voicemails and sends a picture of his penis to Employee B. What company in America would not have to investigate such an incident? What corporate lawyer wouldn’t demand it?
What if there's an Employee C and D out there waiting to file a valid claim of sexual harassment?
If you're Don Draper living in the 1960s, this is part of corporate life. But this is 2010, and it doesn't matter if it's an NFL quarterback or a company vice president.
Of course the NFL has to investigate Brett Favre. Of course it's incumbent on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to get to the bottom of this.
Favre might throw the football really well. He still has to play by some of the rules everyone else does.]
[Updated at 9:41 a.m.:
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
The NFL is completely within its rights to investigate what Brett Favre did or did not do in the Jenn Sterger affair. The league has a conduct policy in place. There is a possibility Favre violated that policy.
It could be trickier to come up with a punishment for Favre, should the NFL determine he is due one. These are unchartered waters the NFL is navigating. No player has ever been publicly accused of texting inappropriate pictures of himself to another team employee.
And the other interesting factor is this is Brett Favre we’re talking about -- Brett Favre, NFL legend. Poster quarterback for the league. He's not some third-string slappy who is lucky to have a job. It would be best for business for this case to go away, and go away quickly. ]
[Updated at 10:22 a.m.:
Kevin Van Valkenburg, Baltimore Sun
Let's state this upfront: You may not like Deadspin.com. And you may not like Jenn Sterger.
But that doesn't mean the NFL should ignore the recent allegation by Deadspin, the most popular sports blog on the Internet, that Brett Favre used a camera phone to send naked, and unwanted, pictures of himself to Sterger while she was working for the New York Jets and he was the team's quarterback.
A lot of people who want this to go away, or think the NFL is overstepping its bounds by looking into it, are doing so because they hate what Deadspin represents. Or because they think Sterger, a former Florida State student who once posed for Playboy, is desperate for attention.
But if the NFL is truly serious about being supportive of women, about establishing a working environment in which this type of unwanted behavior won't be tolerated, it can't just ignore the story. It has to investigate, and if the story is true, it needs to hand out the appropriate punishment, whatever that is.
Supporting women goes beyond wearing pink shoes and gloves for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.]
Photo: Brett Favre with the New York Jets in 2008. Credit: Matthew Emmons / US Presswire