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Brett Favre tries to get defamation case against Shannon Sharpe reinstated

The legal fight involving a pair of Hall of Famers landed in an appeals court on Tuesday.

Brett Favre hopes to resuscitate his defamation case against Shannon Sharpe, with the assistance of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Via the Associated Press, the action returned to court on Tuesday. The case, which relates to Favre’s entanglement in a multi-million-dollar Mississippi welfare scandal, focuses on comments made by Sharpe in September 2022, when he said on his FS1 show that Favre was “taking from the underserved,” that he “stole money from people that really needed that money,” and that someone would have to be a sorry person “to steal from the lowest of the low.”

The lower court dismissed Favre’s case, reasoning that Sharpe’s comments were protected by the First Amendment as “rhetorical hyperbole.”

The legal question for now is whether a reasonable listener could interpret Sharpe’s comments as indicated that Favre actually stole money from Mississippi residents.

If the prior ruling is upheld, Favre’s next move (after seeking a rehearing before the full Fifth Circuit) would be to request the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case. If the decision is overturned, it would go back to the lower court for further proceedings.