Shannon Sharpe Credit: Cam Newton on YouTube

Brett Favre is not giving up on his legal fight against Shannon Sharpe, as the Hall-of-Fame quarterback attempts to revive a defamation suit against the Hall-of-Fame tight end.

Favre filed defamation lawsuits against Sharpe and Pat McAfee last year over their comments regarding his alleged involvement in the multi-million-dollar Mississippi welfare scandal. Both lawsuits were dismissed in 2023, but Favre is seeking to have his case against Sharpe reinstated.

On Tuesday, Favre’s lawyer, Amit Vora, appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans in an attempt to have the case revived.

Favre was named in a 2022 civil suit filed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, where he was accused of improperly receiving funds from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families as part of the largest public embezzlement scandal in state history. Favre has not been charged with a crime and denies knowing where the received funds came from.

After Favre was named in the civil suit, Sharpe said Favre was “taking from the underserved” and “stole money from people that really needed that money,” adding that someone would have to be a sorry person “to steal from the lowest of the low.” These statements were made by Sharpe during a Sept. 2022 broadcast of FS1’s Undisputed.

Favre’s defamation lawsuit against Sharpe was dismissed last year after a federal judge deemed Sharpe’s comments protected by the First Amendment as “rhetorical hyperbole.”

On Tuesday, Favre’s attorney argued Sharpe’s comments were “actionable defamation because that reasonably listener is taking the word steal literally and not figuratively.” Through his attorney, Favre also claimed Sharpe’s statements were made during a “serious segment” of his show with Skip Bayless. Sharpe’s attorneys, however, argue he is a “colorful sports personality” whose words were “transparently hyperbolic and figurative.”

The U.S. standard for defamation sets a very high “actual malice” bar for public figures such as Sharpe. The panel consisting of Judges Leslie Southwick, Kyle Duncan, and Jeremy Kernodle did not indicate when they would rule on the appeal.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to