A story around Brett Favre’s role in the deaths of dogs in lab experiments was grossly misleading, text messages obtained Thursday by the Daily Caller show.
The reporter on the Oct. 28 story, Front Office Sports Senior Reporter A.J. Perez, at first acknowledged Favre had “no role” in the testing, but then later seemed to imply in a broadcast appearance that Favre was involved. The story revolves around the company Prevacus, which Favre hoped would bring to market PreSolMD cream to heal concussions.
The article detailed how Favre advocated for Prevacus to produce the cream. Perez later tweeted the story and appeared to suggest that Favre’s “effort” led to the death of ten beagles.
“EXCLUSIVE: Brett Favre’s role in pushing for a cream to treat concussions — an effort that received thousands of federal welfare funds and the deaths of at least a half-dozen dogs — has drawn more scrutiny by investigators of late, sources tell @FOS,” Perez wrote.
EXCLUSIVE: Brett Favre’s role in pushing for a cream to treat concussions — an effort that received thousands of federal welfare funds and the deaths of at least a half-dozen dogs — has drawn more scrutiny by investigators of late, sources tell @FOS. https://t.co/rhfwjh0RXO
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) October 28, 2022
When the story came out, social media users accused Favre of being a “dog killer” and of being a frontman in “killing dogs.” One outlet, TPS, aggregated Perez’s story with the headline, “Brett Favre Now Under Scrutiny for Role in Funding Concussion Cream & The Death of Multiple Dogs.”
The night before the story’s publication, Perez privately acknowledged in a text message with a source, who requested anonymity for not being authorized to speak on the record, that Favre “had no part of” testing the dogs, according to text messages obtained by the Daily Caller.
“I may have a draft in by then,” Perez told the source. “ESPN has been poking around on this, but I got a cache of documents about this cream thing this week. The dog testing part — which Favre had no part of — is going to drive some people nuts. 10 dead beagles for a product that never came to market.”
“If he had no part in that hope headline/lede don’t give people that impression,” the source, associated with Favre, said.
The source told the Daily Caller that Favre was a public supporter of the cream, but did not advocate for or have any involvement in the testing that killed the dogs. He said Perez agreed with that assessment privately, but publicly pushed the idea that the player was responsible. (RELATED: Favre’s New Lawyer Says State, University Officials Approved Funds)
Perez soon went on a radio show in New Haven, Connecticut, saying Favre “was the one behind it all” and that there would have been “no dog testing” if he had not advocated for the cream.
“There would not have been any dog testing, any testing on kids, if Brett Favre had not pushed for this cream,” he said in an Oct. 29 interview. “He was the one behind it all. There was no interest in it … thousands were spent on this. There were human and animal trials and I think, or I’ve been told, that this is actually part of the investigation, that they’re looking into it.”
Perez confirmed to the Daily Caller via phone call Thursday that Favre was not directly involved with the testing, but repeated that the beagles’ deaths never would have happened if he did not push for the product. He said that Prevacus allegedly had “no interest” in the product, but Favre “pushed” for the cream to be produced.
“That is an out of context excerpt of my text messages with a representative for Favre’s attorney,” Perez told the Daily Caller via text message. “As stated in the messages, nothing in my story, headline, or subhead says that Favre was personally responsible for the deaths of the dogs on which the concussion cream was tested, just that he pushed for the development of the cream, which is true.”
He also said he would have added “more context” to the tweet and his reporting if he had known it would have caused an upset.
The source argued via text message that Favre has no knowledge of how creams are made and tested, and thus had no responsibility.
“He wasn’t in charge of drug development,” the source said. “He’s a football player. He doesn’t know how creams are made/tested. Also, for what it’s worth, he doesn’t include the context that beagles die in the testing for just thousands of products.”
Nearly 60,000 beagles are used in animal research and testing experimentation per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Favre has no comment on the matter, according to the source.