As one of the NFL’s all time great quarterbacks, Brett Favre knows a thing or two about trick plays. However, the retired NFL star Brett Favre was somehow tricked into recording a video for two hate groups which contained veiled anti-Semitic messages.
The former quarterback said he was “sickened” to learn that two groups who paid him $500 to record a message – the Handsome Truth and the Goyim Defense League (GDL) – are white supremacists. The brief message, which sounded harmless, was, in fact, filled with anti-Semitic references. Reading from a script provided by the hate groups, Favre said:
“Brett Favre here with a shoutout to the Handsome Truth and the GDL boys,” Favre says in the shaky video. “You guys are patriots in my eyes. So keep waking them up and don’t let the small get you down. Keep fighting, too, and don’t ever forget the USS Liberty and the men and women who died on that day. God bless and take care.”
“Small” is an anti-Semitic reference to yarmulkes.
Favre wasn’t the only celebrity tricked into recording a video message Comedian Andy Dick and rapper Soulja Boy also recorded videos praising the same anti-Semitic groups. The three celebrities were ticked via the social media application Cameo in which fans can pay celebrities a set amount to record special messages for them.
“Brett Favre is rightly outraged that he was duped by extremist groups into inferring he is sympathetic to their agenda,” said Joe Meadors “president of the USS Liberty Veterans Association His outrage pales when compared with the outrage we feel knowing that our blood and the blood of our fallen shipmates is available to be used by such groups.”
The USS Liberty was a Navy vessel which during a period of battlefield confusion came under fire from Israeli forces during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The Israeli government later apologized for the incident and paid damages to the families of the victims.
In a Facebook post, Favre explained the motivation behind the video:
“On November 22, I received a request to record a shout-out supporting what appeared to be a U.S. veterans organization for Cameo, a company that enables consumers to book personalized video greetings from celebrities. I had previously fulfilled more than 50 of these requests without incident. Since I match service dogs with military veterans who have PTSD, I assumed that the request stemmed from my interest in veterans affairs and recorded the message.
“A few days later, I was distressed to learn that the request came from an anti-Semitic group that reposted my video with comments implying that I endorsed their mission. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am therefore donating my $500 Cameo fee to Charities supporting their fight against hate and bigotry.
“Like most Americans, I am sickened by what these groups stand for and concerned about their role in fueling today’s negative political climate. The Cameo request from this organization is a prime example of how these groups are misusing social media to promote their agenda. I thought I was creating a message to support the brave men and women of our military forces. Had I understood the source of the request, I never would have fulfilled it. All of us – myself included – need to be vigilant to protect this country from these dangers.”
Favre announced he would be donating the $500 he earned or the message to groups that combat racism and hate speech. Favre whose career included two Super Bowl appearances with the Green Bay Packers (and briefer stints with the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, and Minnesota Vikings) was the first NFL player to earn $100 million dollars during his career. The Hall of Famer is now a spokesman for Wrangler Jeans.
Ironically, if Favre’s motivation was to earn money the appearance may have a negative impact on his future earnings.
“When these things happen there usually has a negative impact, there is less interest in a stars memorabilia,” said LCGS Signatures, a sports memorabilia verification service in Newport Beach, CA
Favre seemed confident that the public would understand he was duped. After apologizing on twitter in a Tweet the next day he announced he would be deer hunting.
“Off to hunt with the boys, deer beware”
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