NFL Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre is apologizing after saying he was duped into making an anti-Semitic video by a hate group posing as a veteran's organization.
Favre, who made millions playing for the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings over a storied career, was paid $500 to make the recording riddled with conspiracy theories and coded hate speech for the Cameo service. Cameo pays celebrities and athletes to record short, personalized video messages.
Posing as a veteran's group, the hate group the Handsome Truth and the Goyim Defense League paid Favre to read a statement that included several veiled anti-Semitic remarks.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
"Brett Favre here with a shout-out to the Handsome Truth and the GDL boys,” he says in the shaky video, according to BuzzFeed News. Seemingly reading from a prepared script, Favre stares into a camera and said, "You guys are patriots in my eyes. So keep waking them up and don’t let the small get you down. Keep fighting too and don’t ever forget the USS Liberty and the men and women who died on that day. God bless and take care."
According to Buzzfeed, "Waking them up" is a reference to anti-Semitic indoctrination, while "the small" is an epithet referring to yarmulkes. Israeli fighter jets accidentally fired on the USS Liberty in 1967, believing it was an Egyptian craft, and "Remember the USS Liberty" has become a rallying cry for those who believe the incident was intentional despite statements from both the U.S. and Israeli governments otherwise.
Favre quickly apologized after realizing he'd been tricked.
"Like most Americans, I am sickened by what these groups stand for and concerned about their role in fueling today’s negative political climate. The Cameo request from this organization is a prime example of how these groups are misusing social media to promote their agenda," Favre wrote. "I thought I was creating a message to support the brave men and women of our military forces. Had I understood the source of the request, I never would have fulfilled it. All of us – myself included – need to be vigilant to protect this country from these dangers."
Favre added he would be donating the $500 to "charities supporting their fight against hate and bigotry."
According to Buzzfeed, Favre wasn't the only celeb duped into endorsing anti-Semitism on Cameo. Actor Andy Dick and rapper Soulja Boy were also tricked into making videos. Cameo counts a host of actors and personalities among its clientele, including Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of "Jersey Shore" fame, former NSYNC member Lance Bass and actress Bella Thorne.
When someone books a shout-out through Cameo, they submit specific instructions to the personality for what should be included in the video. The celebrity has an opportunity to review the request and can accept or reject it. If the proposal is accepted, the buyer typically receives a video within the next few days.