Eli Manning is being accused of fraud in relation to claims made he fabricated game-used memorabilia, but new email evidence could potentially exonerate him.
Per a report by ESPN’s Darren Rovell and Jordan Ranaan, these emails show no conclusive evidence that any foul play took place. The emails were submitted in court last week by attorneys at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
“Did you put my helmet somewhere?” Manning wrote in a 2012 email sent from his Blackberry to Skiba shortly after Super Bowl XLVI. “It was not in my locker. If you could hold on to it and my spare one as well, that would be great.”
The alleged fraud Manning is accused of being party to revolves around an email in which he reportedly asked for two helmets that could “pass as game-used.” This is being used against him to show he was asking his equipment manager to provide those helmets to fulfill his obligation to the memorabilia company, Steiner Sports.
The emails obtained by ESPN “also included communication between Manning and Skiba to secure his game-used memorabilia in 2011 and 2013.”
Manning has passionately — showing anger rarely seen by the normally stoic quarterback — defended himself against these accusations, saying he has never once done anything remotely close to what he’s being accused of doing here.
His lawyers doubled down on this notion, per ESPN.
“The Manning defendants produced all of their documents concerning Mr. Manning’s equipment that he provided to Steiner Sports for the simple reason that they have nothing to hide and vehemently deny that they ever provided Steiner Sports with equipment they did not believe was game-used,” the attorneys wrote.
“It is inconceivable that Mr. Manning would provide Steiner Sports with game-used jerseys from his personal collection, which hold sentimental value to him, and yet engage in a scheme to provide Steiner Sports with fake game-used helmets,” Manning’s attorneys wrote. “Moreover, all of the emails produced by Manning Defendants confirm his practice of retrieving actual game-used helmets from the Giants’ equipment staff in order to comply with his Steiner Sports obligations.”
In addition to the New York Giants standing behind him during this time, a former teammate, Brandon Jacobs, recently came to Manning’s defense.
Unless proof can be found that shows Manning had a hand in knowingly providing Steiner Sports with fake memorabilia, it seems this entire thing will blow over soon.