Brett Favre Accused Of Diverting Funds Meant For Welfare Programs To His Own Pet Projects

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Brett Favre is a former NFL quarterback and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He made approximately $138 million during his football career. He has also donated over $130,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation.

At first glance, it might sound good that Favre has given back to college athletics, but when you take a closer look at where the money came from, it doesn’t look so good anymore.

Favre has a charity called Favre 4 Hope. The charity’s mission statement is to support “disadvantaged and disabled children and breast cancer patients.” The charity receives donations, and the people who donate believe that their money is going towards helping “disadvantaged and disabled children and breast cancer patients.” Is it? ESPN reports that the charity’s tax records show otherwise.

Between 2011 and 2017, Favre 4 Hope gave the USM Athletic Foundation a total of $47,900. Oh, by the way, Favre’s daughter enrolled at USM in 2017. After she enrolled, the charity’s contributions to the school’s athletic division increased.

In 2018, the charity donated $60,000 to the USM Athletic Foundation. Meanwhile, donations to other organizations were $10,000 or less. In 2019, Favre 4 Hope gave another $47,817 to the USM Athletic Foundation. Again, donations to other organizations were significantly less, the highest being $11,000 to Special Olympics. Then in 2020, Favre 4 Hope donated another $26,175 to the USM Athletic Foundation. Again, donations to other organizations were $10,000 or less. Between 2018 and 2020, Favre 4 Hope donated significantly more to the USM Athletic Foundations than any other organization. Does that sound like money helping “disadvantaged and disabled children and breast cancer patients” to you?

The USM Athletic Foundation isn’t the only non-breast cancer or disadvantaged children organization that received funds from Favre 4 Hope. In 2015, when Favre’s daughter was in high school, his charity donated $60,000 to the school’s booster club. Two years earlier, his charity donated $10,000 to the school’s booster club.

Are these donations legal? According to Laurie Styron, executive director of watchdog group Charity Watch, “If the charity told donors it was raising money for breast cancer but then spends the resulting donations on an athletic facility, the people running the organization are not fulfilling their obligations to spend the nonprofit’s donations the way its donors intended.” Styron told ESPN, “Charities are not personal piggy banks for their founders to tap into for pet projects. Celebrity athletes don’t get a free pass, and if anything, should feel more of a personal obligation to set a good example by operating not only legally within the rules, but ethically so.”

Besides using funds from his charity to help out schools his daughter was attending, Favre is under fire for another issue – welfare funds. According to text messages, Favre diverted $5 million in welfare funds to a volleyball stadium. In addition, he received $1.1 million as payment for appearances he never made.

Favre has since paid back the $1.1 million and claims he doesn’t know where that money came from. According to Favre’s attorney, he didn’t knew that he had received welfare funds.