After months of deliberating the NFL has fined Brett Favre $50,000 for sending former NY Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger inappropriate text messages. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell determined there was not sufficient enough evidence to determine if Favre violated the league’s player conduct policy, but instead fined Favre for failure to cooperate with the NFL’s investigation.
Sterger has threatened to press legal charges if the league did not take action. Under New Jersey law, Sterger cannot file sexual harassment charges because New Jersey statue of limitations only gives a person a two-year window. Sterger had until December 28, ironically one day before Goodell made his announcement.
In the NFL’s official statement:
The NFL office conducted an investigation to determine whether Brett Favre’s interaction with New York Jets game-day employee Jenn Sterger in 2008 violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.
In reviewing the matter, the sole focus was on whether there was a violation of league policies regarding conduct in the workplace. NFL policies do not extend to private conduct or make judgments about the appropriateness of personal relationships, except where that conduct or those relationships raise issues under the law or league policies.
The investigation included an analysis of publicly available reports; a series of interviews with knowledgeable individuals, including Sterger and Favre; a review of communications between the two furnished to our office; and independent forensic analysis of electronically stored material. The investigation was limited in several respects because 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.
The announcement comes three months after the league first announced it was investigating and during the final week of the regular season. The league has been criticized for its slow decision making, but you know how reliable cell phone service is…
UPDATE: Jenn Sterger and her lawyers released a statment saying they were disappointed but not surprised at the NFL’s ruling.