Vikings quarterback Brett Favre now has more to worry about than poor plays or retirement. Sports blog Deadspin ignited a firestorm of controversy last week after posting pictures and video online that they claim are Favre’s attempted seduction of sports reporter Jenn Sterger.
Sterger worked for the New York Jets during Favre’s time there, but CBS reports that so far, both Sterger and Favre are refusing to comment. The video has gone viral in part because it features full-frontal nudity. The NFL has launched an investigation of its own into the matter, and the Huffington Post writes that Favre could face fines and/or suspension under the NFL’s personal conduct rules if the video does turn out to be him.
This is hardly the first time that a celebrity’s racy NSFW (Not Safe For Work) video has been leaked online. It can’t even be said that it’s the first time the NFL itself has had a scandal like Favre’s this year. New England Patriots rookie Brandon Spikes was involved in a scandal of his own less than three months ago, when Buzzfeed and others reported on a video that allegedly showed the NFL star engaging in sex acts with a woman while streaming footage through webcam website ChatRoulette. The video was leaked everywhere else shortly thereafter. National media eventually picked up the story, and it has tarnished the second-round draft pick’s debut season.
These types of scandals never disappear for the star involved. Probably one of the first sex tape video scandals belonged to actress Pamela Anderson and her then-husband, drummer Tommy Lee. A video of the two on their honeymoon was allegedly stolen from their home before being leaked online. It spread like wildfire, and is still such a prevalent issue that Anderson complained to ContactMusic and other outlets about having to explain the tape to her sons before they could see the movie “Borat” when it was in theaters two years ago, despite it being more than a decade since the tape went viral.
Some videos can take someone who isn’t a celebrity in their own right yet and make them one. Kim Kardashian was relatively unknown in 2007 when the Daily Telegraph and others around the world shared the news that a video of Kardashian with her ex-boyfriend, singer Ray J, was making the rounds on the Internet. Although her personal reputation has never recovered, Kardashian is one of few to have the release of a sex tape actually benefit their careers. She was subsequently offered a show on the E! Entertainment Channel and has had several small movie roles since its release.
Online comments at the Huffington Post and other sites seem split about 50/50 as to whether or not the man in the video is actually Favre. But whether or not it is him, unfortunately will take a backseat in the end. His name and career will now bear the same stamp as other disgraced professional athletes, regardless of whether or not the video turns out to be real. Some people will associate him with the scandal regardless, and for those fans, his personal reputation, and record in the NFL, may never be the same.
Edecio Martinez and Kevin Hayes, “Brett Favre Scandal, What’s at Stake?” CBSNews.com
Christie D’Zurilla, “Brett Favre, Jenn Sterger, naked pictures–need we say more?” LATimes.com
ContactMusic.com, “Pamela Anderson Forced to Explain Sex Tape Scandal to Kids.”
Deadspin.com, “Brett Favre’s Cellphone Seduction of Jenn Sterger.”
Whitney Snyder, “Brett Favre Investigation Could Result in Suspension.” TheHuffingtonPost.com
DailyTelegraph.co.uk, “Kim Kardashian blast sex tape ex-lover.”
Buzzfeed.com, “Brandon Spikes’ ChatRoulette Sex Tape.”