The NFL's investigation of Brett Favre allegedly sending inappropriate text messages and photos to Jenn Sterger, a former Jets employee, when he played in New York has been roundly criticised. The argument: It is a personal matter between two adults.
However, the league has established a pretty low baseline for sexual misconduct by reacting strongly to reports than a female reporter from a television station was treated rudely last month in the Jets locker room.
A few players are alleged to have made crude comments toward her. While their actions were uncalled for, the NFL overreacted by announcing it would develop a workplace conduct programme. Women in the media are treated far better by NFL players and coaches than they were years ago. And while such a programme may be worthwhile, it indicates that the league has zero tolerance for boys-will-be-boys activity.
Having set such a tone, it is compelled to look into the Favre case, which could fall into the realm of sexual harassment.
The probe raises the unfathomable possibility that the greying, married 41-year-old grandfather, who retires and unretires like a grizzled prizefighter, could be suspended for his misdeeds.
Combined with a sore elbow that has jeopardised his health, the scrutiny over this latest episode must have him doubting the decision to continue playing.
If nothing else, the ordeal means that Favre-haters can rest assured they will not have him to kick around next year.