National Football League commissioners were not happy when Brett Favre failed to cooperate in an investigation of picture scandal involving him and a female Jets employee. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback has been ordered to pay $50,000 in fine for the lack of cooperation.
The scandal surfaced after graphic pictures and suggestive messages, Favre allegedly sent to Jenn Sterger in 2008, made their way out earlier this year. The investigation was held later on, but "commissioner [Roger] Goodell determined that Favre was not candid in several respects during the investigation, resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, Sterger, and the N.F.L."
Beside Favre's reluctance to cooperate, the commissioner also found it difficult because "investigation was limited in several respects." It was explained further, "The conduct occurred in 2008 but was not brought to our attention until this fall. As a result, certain records and individuals were unavailable to the NFL."
Favre escaped any further punishment since the board said there was no evidence he violated league policy about workplace conduct. "The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger," they said. "The review found no evidence to contradict the statements of both Favre and Sterger that they never met in person, nor was there anything to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate conduct."
This brought anger to Sterger's camp. Her lawyer Joseph R. Conway responded, "To the contrary, our evidence and the personal testimony of Ms. Sterger clearly showed a pattern of lewd and offensive behavior by Mr. Favre that lasted all of the 2008 season."
In order to avoid the same controversy in the coming years, Goodell affirmed that "no excuses for improper or potentially unlawful conduct in the workplace." He warned, "Every member of every club's staff should be able to work in an environment free of harassment or hostility, and one in which every employee is valued, respected, and given a full opportunity to contribute to the goals of the club and the NFL."
"Our new training program on workplace conduct will help all of us to promote the right kind of environment for all employees and I intend to dedicate the fine I have imposed on Favre to help fund that training program. "