If you're at all familiar with Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe, you know they both have no problem speaking their mind. McAfee retired from being an NFL punter to host The Pat McAfee Show — and signed a contract with FanDuel that doubles what he made during his NFL career every year of the deal. Sharpe also hosts a podcast and has to interact with professional troll Skip Bayless on the Skip and Shannon: Undisputed" show on Fox Sports 1. Their audiences want to hear them speak out.
Of course, sometimes, being highly opinionated means you make others angry. In this case, it's former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, who's suing McAfee, Sharpe, and Mississippi state auditor Shad White. Favre claims the trio made defamatory statements against him last year. These lawsuits — one each against McAfee, Sharpe, and White — come after the state of Mississippi sued Favre for allegedly misusing federally distributed welfare aid that was supposed to go to underserved families.
Favre is alleging White attacked him during interviews so that White could further his political career. Favre said Sharpe falsely accused him of stealing money from underserved families during a September episode of his show; Sharpe also called Favre a "sleazeball." Favre cited McAfee defamed him on multiple occasions, claiming McAfee said Favre stole from "the poor people of Mississippi" in a November episode and tweeted a joke about him in December.
Favre's lawyer is attorney Eric Herschmann, who previously served as an advisor to Donald Trump and testified against the former President to Congress's January 6 committee. Speaking to Jason Whitlock, Herschmann had harsh words for McAfee.
"[McAfee] decides to go on and speak again and make a joke that he doesn't have a lawyer and that his wife said he's really terrible about apologizing," Herschmann said. "Well, I guarantee you the jury in Mississippi will make certain he learns how to apologize. It's going to cost Pat McAfee millions of dollars, and if it bankrupts him, then he will have learned his lesson about you don't try to promote yourself by inappropriately and improperly attacking somebody else."
McAfee said on his show that he doesn't have any lawyers but is looking forward to how this journey goes. Staying true to form, he tweeted a response to Herschmann:
"If it bankrupts him.. then he will have learned his lesson" ~ Favre's Lawyer talking about me
Shahtaht to the boys & all of the people that have followed along.. Folks are talking about "bankrupting" me these days… We've come a lonnng way.
My bank account to the lawyer: pic.twitter.com/FsbKDOYftI
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 15, 2023
Favre is one of 38 individuals or organizations being sued by Mississippi. The state hopes to recoup $24 million lost from the $77 million welfare scheme.
The lawsuits against McAfee, White, and Sharpe are for nominal and general damages, including "compensation for injury to Favre's character and reputation." The lawsuits also seek punitive or exemplary damages.
We'll see how this lawsuit turns out, but like McAfee's tweet suggests, it looks like we just may have a royal rumble on our hands.