Peyton Manning recently announced his retirement with a tearful and emotional press conference.
What came along with this announcement was an outpour of love, support, news coverage and a whole lot of ass-kissing from sports anchors and Manning fans alike.
For New England fans like myself, this was somewhat sickening; watching and listening to the quarterback pat himself on the back one last time.
Manning will retire with 18 seasons-played under his seemingly squeaky clean belt.
It was not until very recently that some not-so-poster boy allegations began to appear steadily about the now-veteran quarterback.
These allegations are coming from his years as a quarterback at the University of Tennessee 20 years ago, and a more recent allegation of the use of a human growth hormone.
ESPN stated, “Peyton Manning is among the athletes cited in a lawsuit filed by a group of women alleging that the University of Tennessee has violated Title IX regulations and created a ‘hostile sexual environment’ through a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes.”
Where has this information been since the beginning of his stellar and clean career?
There have been numerous times when these allegations have surfaced, and were then quickly swept back under the rug.
The first time the reports surfaced was in 1996, which was the same year that the incident had occurred.
These reports resurfaced in 2003 and 2005 when his trainer sued him for defamation both times.
When the stories came out from his trainer, he wrote that she had a vulgar mouth but he always tried to be nice despite what she said, discounting his sexual assault, according to thebigleague.com
It was not until nine years later, in 2014, that the story was brought back to everyone’s attention and the question of what had happened and why it had been brushed off remained.
It seems that the resurfaced story was here to stay only as Manning’s career began to wind down, and his prestigious career wouldn’t lose any gusto.
However, these sexual assault allegations on Peyton Manning were not the only reports that showed him in a dark shadow rather than a glimmering spotlight.
These more recent allegations surrounded the use of human growth hormones (HGH) by Manning after a shipment was sent to his house.
Manning denied having used them and the story was gone in weeks.
People like Jim Nantz, a sportscaster, have discounted the reports, calling it a “non-story,” and others have called it complete garbage, or just completely untrue.
Tom Brady was accused of playing with deflated footballs and this story completely blew up, went to the court, and sports fans and non-sports fans knew the story of “Deflategate.”
Why is it that a quarterback like Peyton Manning can dangle his genitals in the face of a woman, have HGH sent to his home, deny it and just have it brushed off because he says it is untrue? But when hotrod Tom Brady denies having slightly deflated footballs in a conference game, he gets called a liar and is burned at the stake?
As a diehard Patriots fan, this makes my blood boil and steam erupt from my ears.
However biased I may be on the New England fan front, I still see a problem with the portrayal of each case.
Whether Manning is actually innocent or guilty on either allegation, why were those stories treated with such a lack of investigation?
We have gotten to a point where a sexual assault case or a drug use case can be treated so lightly, but the use of a slightly underinflated football causes an absolute uproar.
Mary Curtin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org