- Legendary NFL Player Brett Favre has been called a racist following comments he made about the Derek Chauvin trial.
- Favre suggested Chauvin didn’t intentionally kill George Floyd, igniting a firestorm of condemnation from the left.
- Left Twitter felt justified calling Favre a racist because he opposed BLM protests in the NFL to keep politics and football separate, but commented on the Chauvin trial.
Here are the comments Brett Favre was criticized for,
“I find it hard to believe, and I’m not defending Derek Chauvin in any way, I find it hard to believe, first of all, that he intentionally meant to kill George Floyd…”1
Favre suggested Chauvin didn’t intentionally kill George Floyd. He didn’t say Chauvin was innocent and made a point to say he wasn’t defending Chauvin. However, left-wing influencers on Twitter were not happy.
Left Twitter Accuses Favre of Racism
Tweets like the one’s below began surfacing. This tweet was cited by Newsweek in their story on the controversy.
“Brett Favre is a hall of fame racist.” Scott Dworkin https://t.co/0EKYH0d1aF
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) April 22, 2021
Favre’s Racist Hypocrisy?
Perhaps the biggest reason left influencers saw Favre as a racist was because he recently spoke out against Black Lives Matter protests in the NFL.
Here are Favre’s controversial BLM comments, cited by Newsweek,
“I know when I turn on a game, I want to watch a game. I want to watch players play and teams win, lose, come from behind… I want to watch all the important parts of the game, not what’s going on outside of the game, and I think the general fan feels the same way.”
Favre is taking the position that political issues shouldn’t be a part of live sports games. People watch sports to get away from politics, Favre believes.
The left saw this as hypocritical. On one hand Favre, as sports star, was commenting on the Chauvin trial, on the other, he was saying keep sports out of politics.
However, it’s not clear this actually was hypocritical. Favre was speaking about politics being brought into live sports events. Those are what people watch to get away from the world. Political shows and podcasts are a different story. He did not say, as far as we can tell, that athletes shouldn’t have the right to speak out on their own time as he himself did a few days later.
Politics and Sports Games
Burr made the point that he watches sports to get away from the stress of life. Charities and causes being brought into game time serve the opposite purpose, exposing viewers to think about the most stressful events in life. While Burr was speaking about a different cause than BLM, his comments received over 9 million views on YouTube and 88 times more likes than dislikes. Favre’s view, therefore, seems less controversial than is alleged.
Favre Defended Kapernick
In fact, Favre’s views are much more nuanced than his haters give him credit for. He had previously defended Colin Kapernick… even calling him a hero.3 This seems to fly in the face of the view that Favre has racist views about BLM.
Favre’s Chauvin Comments Had Nuance
And as mentioned above, the comments that set off this firestorm were actually nuanced. He also said this below,
“[Derek Chauvin’s] actions were uncalled for. I don’t care what color the person is on the street. I don’t know what led to that video that we saw where his knee is on his neck, but the man had thrown in the towel.”
Where is the Truth?
Condemning Brett Favre as a clear racist seems rationally unjustified based on the evidence cited above. Favre said he, “wasn’t defending Chauvin in any way,” he simply didn’t take the most extreme view of the trial. Furthermore his comments on BLM are not clear racist hypocrisy as they have been portrayed.
And to see where the left is coming from, it is fair to point out that there are a large number of black athletes who support BLM protests in sports. They have the right to speak their mind and we should hear them. The fact that so many of our fellow Americans feel compelled to protest should make us take them seriously.
Calling everyone a racist who doesn’t immediately agree with everything the most passionate BLM protestor says makes us stop thinking. It makes both sides dig in their heels and ensures endless fighting and hate, and ignores the advice of the Civil Rights pioneers who thought, “love is the only way” to achieve concrete change.4