Brett Favre Biographer Tells Fans Not to Read Book After Reports That Former Packer QB Abused Welfare Funds

Author Jeff Pearlman, who wrote a biography on Brett Favre in 2016, called the former NFL MVP 'a bad guy' undeserving of 'the icon treatment'

Jeff Pearlman, left, is urging sports fans to not read his biography on former Packers quarterback Brett Favre after details of Favre's involvement in a scandal diverting welfare funds for a sports arena came to light.
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Brett Favre biographer tells fans not to read book originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Author Jeff Pearlman is warning readers not to buy his "largely glowing" biography on Hall-of-Fame quarterback Brett Favre after text messages uncovered earlier this week revealed that Favre and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant diverted welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Pearlman's book, "Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre," was published in 2016. Pearlman said Tuesday that the biography was "fairly positive" despite the fact he included anecdotes about Favre's "grossness, addiction, treatment of women."

"Looking at it now, if I'm being brutally honest—I'd advise people not to read it," Pearlman wrote on Twitter. "He's a bad guy. He doesn't deserve the icon treatment. He doesn't deserve acclaim. Image rehabilitation. Warm stories of grid glory."

Pearlman continued to call Favre's manipulation of welfare funds "so grotesque, so monstrous. I don't know how someone like that looks in the mirror."

Favre, 52, played football at Southern Miss from 1987 through 1990 and is arguably the school's most notable alumnus -- other than Bryant, who served as governor of Mississippi from 2012 to 2020. Favre's daughter, Breleigh, played volleyball for the Golden Eagles from 2018 through 2022. 

The text messages between Favre and Bryant's staff, which were filed Monday in the state of Mississippi's civil lawsuit over misspent welfare funds, ranged from 2017 through 2019 and show that about $5 million was funneled to build the new volleyball center on campus.

Most notable amongst the collection of texts are those filed by an attorney representing Nancy New, founder of the Mississippi Community Education Center. New's center was tasked with helping the state of Mississippi by spending tens of millions in federal welfare funds, instead, the money was diverted in a scheme that state auditors claim misspent $77 million -- the largest case of public fraud in Mississippi history.

"If you were to pay me is there any way the media can find out where it came from and how much?" Favre asked New in 2017.

New has since pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts of briber, fraud, and racketeering, according to reports.

Favre's attorney, Bud Holmes, denied the allegations that the three-time NFL MVP knew the volleyball stadium was being funded by welfare money.

"Brett Favre has been honorable throughout this whole thing," Holmes told Mississippi Today.

Bryant has also denied his role in diverting welfare funds to build the stadium.

Favre and Bryant have been not been criminally charged, and reports indicate that the Southern Miss volleyball stadium is not part of the state's civil lawsuit.

For Pearlman, the text messages did enough damage to Favre's reputation for the author to distance himself entirely from the 2016 biography.

"So, sincerely, don't buy the book, don't take it out from the library. Leave it," Pearlman concluded.


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