EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Brett Favre stepped up to the podium after a discouraging loss to the New York Jets and spent about 20 minutes evading questions the same way he tried to avoid tacklers.
The Minnesota Vikings quarterback was asked several times after Monday night’s 29-20 loss to the New York Jets to discuss the NFL’s investigation into allegations that he sent racy messages and lewd photos to a Jets game hostess in 2008.
Each time, the three-time MVP did not address the topic. He said he was disappointed his team lost the game and his only focus had been on trying to beat the Jets.
Asked if the allegations against him are true or false, a tight-lipped Favre said: “If you want to talk about what happened in the football game tonight, I’d love to.”
Earlier Monday, he reportedly apologized to his teammates for the distraction caused by the allegations and NFL investigation.
Neither coach Brad Childress nor Favre would discuss what the quarterback said to his teammates in that meeting, but both confirmed the 20-year veteran addressed the team.
“That’s between me and my teammates, apparently not all of them,” Favre said, a reference to a teammate who might have divulged what was said.
A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Favre spoke to his teammates Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the conversation.
ESPN reported on Favre’s apology.
Asked to characterize whether the allegations have been an embarrassment, Favre said “I am embarrassed about this football game. I thought we gave a great effort.”
Asked to comment on the NFL investigation, he said: “I said what I had to say. I’m disappointed we lost this football game.”
Favre praised the addition of Randy Moss and says despite the team’s 1-3 record, he’s optimistic the Vikings can turn it around.
The Vikings started slow, with Favre losing two fumbles and being sacked early. He came on strong in the second half with three touchdown passes before a late interception ended the comeback attempt.
“You know what, it’s just no different than any other time,” Favre said of whether the game was tough to get ready for with all that has been going on. “I concentrated on this game, gave it my all, it wasn’t good enough.”
Childress said he thought Favre was prepared.
“I thought, by and large, he knew what was going on,” Childress said. “But I didn’t think we were ready to play coming out of the locker room and that starts with me.”
Earlier Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is looking to “find out all the facts” before determining “what the next step is from there, if any.”
Goodell spoke in Chicago, where he is attending league meetings. There was no indication from the NFL when the investigation would be complete or when the league would talk to the quarterback.
The NFL is trying to determine if Favre violated its personal conduct policy. Should the league find he did, Favre could be fined or suspended.
“The first thing you want to do is find out the facts, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Goodell said. “We’re trying to find out all the facts around it and then once we determine those facts, then we’ll determine what the next step is from there, if any.”
After a long stretch with Green Bay, where he won a Super Bowl, Favre played for New York in 2008 and then signed with the Vikings last year.
Last week, the website Deadspin posted a story which included several voicemails allegedly sent by Favre to Jenn Sterger, who worked for the Jets while Favre was with the team. The voicemails include a man asking to meet with Sterger, who now is a TV personality for the Versus network. The website posted a video that contained the voicemails and several graphic photos — said to be of Favre — that were allegedly sent to Sterger’s cell phone.
Sterger’s manager, Phil Reese, has declined to say if his client is cooperating with the NFL or has retained a lawyer, but issued a statement Monday saying that “we’re looking at all our options right now and our only concern is what’s in Jenn’s best interest.”
A person familiar with the situation told the AP that Sterger has not yet spoken to the league. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment.
Deadspin also reported that Favre pursued two female massage therapists who worked part time for the team, according to one of the women. Deadspin did not identify the women, but a Jets spokesman said the team was giving contact information for the two women to the league.
Favre’s only public comment on the reports before Monday came last week when he said, “I’m not getting into that. I’ve got my hands full with the Jets and am trying to get some timing down with our guys, so that’s all I’m going to discuss.”
AP Sports Writers Andrew Seligman in Chicago and Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.