Instead, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling ruled last month that the lawsuit brought against Favre, the New York Jets and Jets team supervisor Lisa Ripi, by former Jets masseuses Christine Scavo and Shannon O'Toole, will not be dismissed.
Scavo and O'Toole allege that Favre flirted with them in text messages, close to the same time the legendary quarterback was accused of sending sexy text messages and lewd, below-the-belt photos of himself to former Jets employee, Jenn Sterger.
"Brett here. You and Crissy want to get together? I'm all alone," Favre wrote in one message, according to their lawsuit filed last year. "Kinda lonely tonight. I guess I have bad intentions."
Clearly, Favre was in the wrong from the standpoint that he was married at the time, and sending flirtacious texts to other women was a slight against his wife, Deanna Favre.
But the lawsuit has nothing to do with Favre being married, and everything to do with sexual harassment and job discrimination.
The legal definition of sexual harassment is "unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment."
Favre was never Scavo and O'Toole's superior, as he was simply a fellow New York Jets employee who could not fire, promote, demote, or reassign the two masseuses.
If you're not someone's superior who has the ability to change the status of one's job, it's only sexual harassment if the conduct unreasonably interferes with work performance or creates an "intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment."
In my view, Favre's text message to Scavo wasn't intimidating, hostile or overly offensive. He simply asked if the women wanted to get together because he was feeling lonely. Of course it was slightly flirtacious, but I didn't view it as something that would create a hostile work environment.
Apparently these women often gave players private massages in the athletes' personal homes, outside of the Jets' practice facility.
Of course that doesn't make it alright for the players to flirt with them, but it's easy to see how a male athlete can get mixed signals from a private massage from a female in the comfort of their own homes.
Even in the most basic medical massage, there's a lot of touching and feeling that goes on, which Favre may have interpreted as a sexual advance on their part.
Another item missing from the reports is exactly how and why Favre had the masseuses' personal phone numbers in the first place. If the masseuses gave their numbers to Favre directly, he may have viewed that as flirtacious behavior.
In an ESPN.com report, Jets team supervisor Lisa Ripi ripped into both Favre and the former team masseuses.
"There are ways to handle things in a professional manner and ways to be compensated not in public. ... All this nonsense is unnecessary," Ripi wrote, according to the lawsuit. "For sure feel horrible that u had to go thru that w a pervert. ... He was wrong on all counts...and we cldve helped u a lot more at that time."
Perhaps what we can learn from this is that NFL teams should look into hiring male masseuses to avoid such situations in the future.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Jets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/news/story?id=5985582, ESPN.com, quotes
- American Football
- New York Jets
- Brett Favre
- Deanna Favre
- sexual harassment