This week, I read an online article on USA Today saying that Brett Favre wants politics out of sports. He's quoted as saying that, "Kneeling for the national anthem has created more turmoil." I've listed directly below some of the quotes that came from Brett with his interview on the Daily Wire website. In my response to his comments, I have composed a letter that I'd love to send to Favre on my interpretation of these comments and how I view his football career in retrospect.
Quotes from Brett Favre:
"I can't tell you how many people have said to me, 'I don't watch anymore; it's not about the game anymore.' And I tend to agree." Favre's comments came days after Major League Baseball decided to move the league's All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver after pulling it from Truist Park near Atlanta. The decision to pull the game from the Atlanta Braves home ballpark came after Georgia passed voting laws likened to Jim Crow-era laws.
He went on to say:
The 20-year NFL veteran and Super Bowl 31 winner was open about voting for former president Donald Trump in the 2020 election. When asked why it was controversial for him to support Trump but not for athletes to kneel for the national anthem, Favre said the controversy was very lopsided and kneeling for the anthem has "created more turmoil than good." "It's really a shame that we've come to this," he said. "Something has to unify us, and I felt like the flag, standing patriotically — because Blacks and whites and Hispanics have fought for this country and died for this country. It’s too bad."
My letter to Brett:
I read today that you are upset that sports today have become too political – some white athletes but mainly Black pro athletes have taken to social media about issues that directly affect minority communities. This applies to such issues as 'driving while black,' voter suppression, and institutional racism. Issues that don't directly impact our communities so our challenge is to try to understand what has occurred which allows them to take such issues to social media.
You site an example of how kneeling during the national anthem is an act that is adding more divisiveness to our country. I think this stems from many examples of excessive law enforcement towards Black individuals. I believe they are trying to bring attention to this issue. I don't get the sense these athletes who kneel are not disrespecting the flag, they've found that any publicity they receive can help further the cause. Racism occurs in England too and during International Football games in Great Britain, all players on the pitch kneel for a bit to bring attention to the fact that racism still exists. I wonder if these players get any push-back from fans even though the flag is not part of the start of the game? Having said that, I'm all for peaceful protests but when they turn violent towards the police or surrounding property, that becomes socially unacceptable and unlawful.
In the past year or two, professional athletes are not the only ones who are bringing attention to this social issue. On ESPN and Fox Sports, sports announcers along with journalists and commentators have added their insight and opinion. This is commonplace even though I can identify with some individuals who think the NBA is way too political. I still watch because of some terrific athletes but I sometimes feel it's in my face too much. I agree with their cause as long as it is civil and lawful but would rather choose to turn it down a little bit. However, during these tumultuous times, that won't happen anytime soon.
I read that you supported Trump in 2016? Was that true or just my crazy imagination? I also read that you golfed with The Former One in 2017? (You do know why that reference is used, do you?) I know you were just elected into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame recently (congrats BTW), so you've been away for a few but still, your identity involves football. So you were not only seen golfing with TFO, but you posed for several pictures with him, the optics here lean toward the fact that you completely support this guy. I may be overanalyzing the situation but it appears you were really buddy-buddy with TFO. Was that not in a way bringing politics into sports? Could you have kept your support for TFO's on the DL to help eliminate some politics out of sports? One more thing, you voted for that individual in 2020!
Brett, I hate to get personal but “Have you lost your mind?” You voted for the carnival barker who sometimes lied as often as him taking a sip of diet coke. You voted for the individual that knew about Covid-19 early in 2020 but publically pretended that the virus would go away by Easter? (In a way, TFO was right about Easter that the virus would go away but it occurred in 2021 and not in 2020!) As a Packer fan, I supported you when many other Packer fans wanted you gone because you were too much of a gunslinger. I took arrows for that cause because at the time I just assumed you were of sound mind. Now I’m beginning to realize that it was a mistake to be so committed. Why support such a man especially after you knew that he excelled in tearing things down? Now I begin to wonder as the Packers quarterback that your inconsistent decision-making for all the world to see was not one of your finer points. For example, if you lead the NFL in all-time interceptions at 336, in my mind, that wasn't typically a physical issue but a mental one.
I’m simple-minded so I’ll ask you, “If you lead the NFL in all-time interceptions, shouldn’t you then lead the NFL in all-time touchdowns?” I’m just thinking you had to play so many years to throw 336 and so by playing that many years, I’m assuming touchdowns would double that amount. No, you threw 508 touchdowns which is a respectable amount (4th all-time) but none of those 3 above you in this category even make the top 8 in all-time interceptions. You played 302 games but threw 336 picks, I’m not a math major but that’s about 1.1 each game. Imagine that, a great NFL quarterback averaged at least 1 per game (not counting fumbles). I don’t care how good of a gunslinger you are; don’t you think that’s a dubious honor?
Towards the end of your career, I had an epiphany about you, the Packers, and most broadcasting partners. You were great for ratings -- you may have thrown a lot of picks but you were so much fun to watch, and when I mention great ratings, this applied to the majority of his 20-year career. I just remember ESPN gushing about your athleticism, guts, and determination. They just couldn't get enough but it would be unfair to not include John Maddon as someone who also gushed about you. As you know, John loved you, you were his prototypical player and he loved the fact that no injury kept you out of a game. In other words, you made the NFL and broadcasting partners a lot of money during your career. You were the Michael Jordan of NFL football, less the 5 titles.
Having said this, as a Packers fan, I don't mind my QB being a gunslinger -- but a gunslinger who will consistently take calculated risks and overall provides stability at this position. However, if that gunslinger throws on average 1.1 picks per game, how did you process that many turnovers? Entertaining yes, but the ability to self-destruct, especially during a critical part of the game broke the hearts of many Green Bay fans.
That gets me to another point I’d like to make. During the first few years after Aaron Rodgers was drafted by GB, you felt the heat that the Packers would eventually replace you so you didn’t share much with Aaron and several news reports said you were a jerk often towards Aaron. Imagine that, you being a jerk!
I have a strong suspicion that you knew he was a better quarterback at the time but you still wanted that crown along with an incredible amount of adulation. You saw how accurate he was on the practice field and sensed he’d make you look less accurate and in control of the most important position on the gridiron. Unfortunately, you were eventually replaced by a younger and cheaper quarterback, someone who was a much more accurate passer and was a lot less prone to turnovers as Rodgers threw a pick in .45 times per game. (The irony here is what happened to you will sooner or later, perhaps more sooner, to Aaron Rodgers.)
Brett, in closing, there are still two points I want to make. First, you were interviewed by the Daily Wire which is a far right-wing publication. Is that an example of how we need to heal as a country and keep politics out of sports? Second, if you ever get the chance to golf with The Former One, please tell him to stay out of current politics as he's no longer our Commander in chief -- it's time for him to find a quiet place and begin working on his memoirs (if he actually has the ambition or intellect to do so).
Even if our political leanings are like the width of the south and north rim of the Grand Canyon, I still love you, Man!