In early August, only a day after the latest (and hopefully last) Brett Favre retirement false alarm, a report emerged from Deadspin regarding allegations that Favre, while playing for the Jets, had sent via text message offensive photos to a former employee of the Jets.
The story gained little or no national traction, and by all appearances no questions have been posed to Mr. Favre regarding the contention. (Except, presumably, by Mrs. Favre.)
But with the league acknowledging that it’s “looking into” the videotape created by Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes before he even entered the league, several of you raised with us a very good question — is the league also investigating Favre?
In Favre’s case, he was employed in the league at the time the alleged conduct occurred, and the alleged target of it was an employee of the Jets when it happened.
So we asked NFL spokesman Greg Aiello about it. And here’s what he said, via e-mail: “One can assume that we look into everything that is relevant, whether we say so or not. This is not a confirmation of anything.”
Frankly, the league would have no choice but to look into it. If true (and we’re not saying that it is), the allegations could amount to an actionable case of sexual harassment. Some may be confused, however, by the league’s willingness to acknowledge an investigation of some players but not others.
But we think we understand the distinction. For some high-profile players (like Ben Roethlisberger), the league’s only viable option is complete and total transparency, given that a criminal accusation had been made and the event already occupied a prominent position in multiple news cycles. For other situations that have yet to gain widespread attention, the mere acknowledgment of the existence of an “investigation” easily could nudge an otherwise little-known allegation into the mainstream.