The football season is over, but there is still some buzz going on around the football world. While everyone is wondering what Peyton Manning will do, writer Shaun King dropped an article chronicling Peyton Manning’s sexual assault at the University of Tennessee. The incident happened when Manning was at the University of Tennessee and involved a team doctor, Dr. Jamie Naughright. For the full story, including the 74 pages of court documents, check here. Instantly, the document caused a stir on social media. There were those that took the taking down of Dr. Naughright seriously and had a different view of Peyton Manning. And there were others that seemed to brush this incident off. But it is amazing how folks can view some things when they actually like a player.
Peyton has forever been someone that people have seen as classy, hard-working and a great spokesman for the NFL. There is no doubt that he is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. But what some have to understand is that he essentially tormented Dr. Naughright. The funniest part of the whole thing is that some people did not read the story at all. Peyton Manning did not moon someone and Dr. Naughright did not walk in at the wrong time. He actually scooted down while she was examining a potential stress fracture of Manning and put his “man parts” on Dr. Naughright’s head. And secondly, Manning tried to besmirch Dr. Naughright’s character by saying she spoke vulgar and saying that she hung with Black guys all the time. Naughright may have spoken vulgar (which was refuted by every witness that Manning tried to get), but what does her hanging with Black guys have to do with any of this? Sounds to me that Manning was just trying anything to get out of this one and when the case was settled and Gag order placed, that screamed of guilt of Manning. And when he lied again in a book about the incident, he cost himself some more money because he again had to settle with Dr. Naughtwright. All the while he has done long-term damage to her career while not even offering so much as an apology. It is true that this incident happened in the past, when Manning was young. But that does not excuse the incident and the crap he put that woman through for nothing.
Many have also spoken on the length of time it has been since this incident happened. Some think that it is a convenient attempt to tear down Peyton’s legacy before he leaves the game by bringing up his past. Well, what some may want to realize is that this story is older than some of the fans that Peyton has actually. And I have come across many that were not even aware of the reality of this story. So in essence, it was new to a ton of people in that sense. Another thing that is interesting is how some can say they are trying to tear Peyton down or that this happened in the past when they cannot forget others and their past. For example, Cam Newton had success this season. And many were very happy for him and how well he had led the team. But there were some that continued to bring up his incident at the University of Florida. For those that are not aware, Newton stole a laptop and that got him in hot water. He was eventually out at the University of Florida because of it. And it is definitely interesting that some of the same folks will break that out in a minute while telling us to pipe down on the Manning incident. To those I would like to ask, “Why the change up on both Manning and Newton?” There will be some that will ask why I used Cam as an example and I can assure you that it was the first one I thought of. Not downing or supporting Cam and his press conference in this article and that is not the issue at hand anyway. But what is at hand is how some can selectively bring up the past for some and forget it for others. Another example of folks not letting go of the past is the incident Michael Vick had. The veteran quarterback went to jail for animal abuse, but so many still go at him about that as well. But with Peyton we are supposed to forget something that was an ugly situation because he paid them off? Honestly, that ought to concern more people than anything.
In the end, people are going to have their own opinion about Manning and what happened back then. But one thing cannot be disputed in this scenario: people tend to be more forgiving, forgetful and blind to the facts when it is someone they love. Manning is a great quarterback and no one is taking that away from him at all. But this ugly incident is definitely something that was covered up and hushed. With Vick and Newton, they paid consequences for what they did. But Peyton has seemed to avoid that along with any public backlash essentially. Some that keep blowing this story off would not do so if it was their daughter, wife, or family member that this mess happened to. But let them tell it, nothing even happened to begin with. And those folks are blind in broad daylight. If you’re going to bring up the past for one, you have to do it for all. You cannot pick and choose who you drag through the mud. That wreaks of hypocritical talk.