Tennessee Sexual Assault Scandal Threatens Peyton Manning's Legacy

by Abel Hampton February 19, 2016, 1:49

After last Sunday, Denver Broncos’ Quarterback Peyton Manning added a second Super Bowl to his long resume of impressive achievements.

That light has somewhat dimmed now. The 6 plaintiffs, in this case, cited several incidents when male athletes had been accused of sexual assault, and the 1996 case involving Manning was included. They made a reference to this sexual assault allegation and bad-mouthed Jamie Naughright, ultimately leading to a defamation suit that she brought against the Mannings. The lawsuit was settled in 2003.

Manning described the 1996 incident in the book as a "crude... but harmless" locker-room exchange, with Naughright simply catching him "mooning" a fellow athlete.

As Naughright examined him, according to the document, Naughright said that he intentionally placed his naked genitals on her face.

The group UltraViolet issued a statement Tuesday calling on companies including Nationwide Insurance and Papa John's Pizza to shed the two-time Super Bowl-winning star from their rosters in the wake of a lawsuit filed last week against the University of Tennessee naming the Manning as part of an on-going culture of sexual harassment on the school's campus. It was out there, yet was hardly considered a blemish on Manning's otherwise spotless public image (mostly before those HGH allegations emerged).

Returning to Florida after an educational and medical trip to South Africa in 2001, she found an envelope addressed to "Dr. Vulgar Mouth Whited" (her married name during her time at Tennessee) and containing copies of a publication called "Manning" that appeared to have been written by Manning, his father and ghostwriter John Underwood.

Somehow, it seems the Manning-Naughright story has lent credence to the Al Jazeera report that Manning used human growth hormone in his recovery from neck surgery four-plus years ago. Get in the comment box and let me know what you think about this alleged "pass" Peyton got from the media.

"If anything comes of these allegations, certainly it would not only tarnish his repetition as an individual, but would diminish his value as a product endorser, to a degree", said Middle Tennessee State University marketing professor Dr. Don Roy.

For one, the quarterback mentions that having a woman in a men's locker room "is one of the most misbegotten concessions to equal rights ever made". The female trainer, Naughtright, said in court she was treating Manning's foot when he began asking her personal questions.

Manning is a five-time National Football League most valuable player who also won a Super Bowl earlier in his 18-year career when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. However, there was enough noise around the incident that Manning apparently felt he had to change the narrative.

First, because Peyton is Peyton, it is the besmirching of his reputation that is driving this story nationally rather than the more impactive allegation that a major university might be giving the eligibility of athletes a higher priority than the safety and dignity of women. The document alleges a sexual-assault scandal, cover up, and smear campaign of the victim.

Would this affect Manning's decision to keep playing football or retire?

The alleged incident against Manning is a small piece of what's a much bigger list of abuses at the University of Tennessee, as you can read for yourself in this report by The Tennessean.

Manning is nearly assuredly a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who lived up to his billing as a player after he was a No. 1 draft choice in 1998.

 

 


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