NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Eli Manning isn’t having any of it.
The Giants’ quarterback on Thursday fought back against accusations levied against him in the wake of a sports memorabilia scandal, denying any and all wrongdoing.
Showing rare emotion, the usually stoic Manning was near tears as he defended himself during a meeting with reporters at the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey. When asked about the lawsuit that accuses him of not being above-board with memorabilia collectors when it came to game-worn helmets and jerseys, the veteran signal-caller said he has “nothing to hide” and has “done nothing wrong.”
Manning insisted more information that will clear his name is expected to be revealed soon.
“My track record speaks for itself,” Manning said, adding he’s upset with how some people have “turned” on him due to the allegations.
Three collectors are suing the Giants, Manning, team equipment manager Joe Skiba, Steiner Sports and others, alleging they were all in on the scheme.
Brandon Steiner, CEO of memorabilia collector Steiner Sports, had Manning’s back on Tuesday, saying on a Facebook Live video that the Giants’ quarterback is “someone I would say I trust my children with.”
“When Eli Manning walks into your office and he says, ‘These are my game-used items,’ I’d like to think that I can believe that,” Steiner said.
The New York Post reported last week that it obtained court papers that include a April 2010 email from Manning to Skiba asking for “2 helmets that can pass as game used.”
The email followed one from Alan Zucker, Manning’s marketing agent, who requested the QB to produce two game-used helmets and jerseys, as per his contract with Steiner, the Post reported.
In another email, Skiba allegedly admitted to one of the plaintiffs that Manning asked him to create “BS” versions of memorabilia because he did not want to part with the real items.
Karen Kessler, a spokeswoman for Giants lawyer McCarter English, released a statement not long after the Post story was published, claiming Manning’s email was being misrepresented.
“This 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,” she said. “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,” Kessler continued.