Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Brett Favre's lawsuit against podcaster/former punter Pat McAfee appears to be over.
Favre had sued McAfee, along with fellow former NFL player Shannon Sharpe and a Mississippi state official, for defamation. Favre contended in court papers that McAfee had used "malicious lies" to tarnish Favre's "good name" by connecting Favre to an ongoing Mississippi welfare scandal.
“Every time [Favre’s] name gets brought up,” McAfee said in November 2022, according to Favre’s complaint, “we have to mention that he tied the hands of the poor people and took money right out of their pockets.”
“There is no basis for these outrageous falsehoods,” Favre’s attorneys said, “which McAfee made knowing that they were false or, at a minimum, with reckless disregard for the fact that they were false.” However, defamation suits against public figures must clear a high bar to prove damage, and it's apparent that Favre's attorneys did not feel their case cleared that bar.
“As I confirmed in my court papers and I repeat here, my statements expressed in comedic style were based solely on public statements and allegations," McAfee said on Thursday morning in opening his show. “As I have previously stated, I respect the hell out of Brett Favre the football player and his Hall of Fame career on the field, and I have no personal knowledge about any case involving Brett in Mississippi ... I am pleased to report that based solely on me again clarifying these points now, with no settlement paid, Brett is withdrawing his suit against me.”
A tweet from what appears to be Favre's Twitter account confirmed that the suit is over:
I'm happy that Pat McAfee and I have settled this litigation. Like Pat said, he was attempting to be funny and not commenting based on any personal knowledge. We'd both much rather talk about football.
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) May 11, 2023
"I'm happy that Pat McAfee and I have settled this litigation," the tweet read. "Like Pat said, he was attempting to be funny and not commenting based on any personal knowledge. We'd both much rather talk about football."
The District Court for Southern District of Mississippi did not immediately indicate that Favre's attorneys had filed either a settlement or a withdrawal of the suit.