Eli Manning finds himself at the center of a rare scandal for the normally scandal-free quarterback.
Manning is facing a lawsuit from a group of collectors who claim the New York Giants QB knowingly provided them with non-authentic memorabilia. Earlier this week, an email Manning sent to Giants head equipment manager Joe Skiba in 2010 was included in a court filing in Bergen County (N.J.) Superior Court, and it appears to incriminate Manning in doing just that.
In an April 27, 2010, email, Manning asked Skiba for “two helmets that can pass as game used” after his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, allegedly requested Manning provide him with memorabilia to fulfill an obligation to the sports memorabilia company Steiner Sports.
Per the New York Post, Manning wrote to Zucker 20 minutes later saying he “should be able to get (the memorabilia) for tomorrow.”
That email is just one piece of evidence in the lawsuit, which claims that Manning and the Giants were involved in an “elaborate scheme to produce, pass off and sell memorabilia as game-used that was not,” per ESPN.com. The lawsuit also claims the Giants tried to cover their tracks by deleting Manning’s incriminating email.
A law firm representing the Giants released a statement defending the 36-year-old QB.
“The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday,” the statement read. “The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server.
“Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character.”
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