“Don’t read my book” is not something you typically hear a writer say.
But after news that former soccer player Brett Favre allegedly asked for welfare to be diverted to build a volleyball court, Author Jeff Pearlman took to Twitter this week to let readers know not to delve into his Favre bio, Gunslinger.
Favre is one of several people being sued by the state of Mississippi for allegedly misspending millions of dollars in welfare payments. The former NFL star has not been charged with any crime and has returned the money. In a post on social media, he said he wasn’t aware the money came from social funds.
The state says Favre still owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.
The headlines prompted Pearlman to testify about the book he wrote years ago about the professional athlete.
“On the day of the expanded Favre revelations, I want to share something: I wrote a biography of the man that was largely radiant,” Pearlman wrote in a Tuesday thread on Twitter. “Football exploits, overcoming obstacles, handy joker, etc. Yes, it included his rudeness, addiction, treatment of women. But it was pretty positive.
“And looking at it now, if I’m being brutally honest – I would advise people not to read it. He’s a villain. He doesn’t deserve the icon treatment. He doesn’t deserve any applause.”
Gunslinger – whose full title is The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre: Gunslinger – was published in 2016. It was Pearlman’s seventh book and his third biography based on a specific figure in the sport. The New York Times best-selling sports author has also written books that follow specific teams.
“Sincerely, do not buy the book, do not take it from the library,” Pearlman wrote on Tuesday. “Don’t. There are sooooo many better people worth your reading.”
Pearlman noted in a follow-up thread Thursday that while his biography of Favre wasn’t glowing praise of the man and said he’d “dived deep into his addiction, his treatment of women,” he now believes that Favre is the subject this does not deserve anyone’s time.
He also explained that although he spoke to family members, teammates and coaches, he did not interview Favre for the bio.
Texts released this week between the former soccer player and a Mississippi governor allegedly show Favre arranged more than $1 million in welfare funds to fund one of his pet projects, a varsity volleyball court.
The texts showed Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who left office in 2020, was “on board” to move the money, the Associated Press reported. That money was originally intended to help low-income families in the state through a nonprofit, but was moved to ensure Favre can use it, according to court documents.
In a text, court documents show, Favre asked if “there’s any way the media can figure out where it’s coming from and how much?”
That message was reportedly sent before he publicly stated that he was unaware the money came from welfare.
Pearlman called the alleged smuggling of this money “so grotesque, so monstrous.”
Favre was fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to cooperate with investigators investigating the allegations. According to the league, forensic analysis could not determine that Favre was the one behind the news, but he was fined by the NFL for not being “open on multiple counts” during the investigation, it said at the time.
Favre played primarily with the Green Bay Packers during his 20 seasons in the National Football League.