On Saturday, when every social media platform I’m on save for my Ashley Madison account blew up with the report by Shaun King of the New York Daily News into how Peyton Manning allegedly sexually assaulted a female trainer at the University of Tennessee, I have to admit I was surprised. Not by the “news” that Manning was accused of aggressively teabagging a trained medical professional while she was in the performance of her Hippocratic duties, treating his injured foot. But by the fact that anyone considers it “news.”
This story has been public knowledge for two decades. There’s not a talk show on WEEI that hasn’t talked about it. The fact that one writer for a New York tabloid decided to brush up on it and that makes it a story is a little like your neighbor watching “American Crime Story” and saying, “Did you know O.J. Simpson killed two people?”
Or, to make a perfect analogy, this is exactly like Hannibal Burress bringing up Bill Cosby’s alleged serial drugging and raping of women and turning it into a national story. Burress is a stand-up comic, not an investigative journalist. He didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t available with a simple Wikipedia search. But I’m not complaining. Anything that gets the nation fired up about unsuspecting women getting male parts stuck in places they don’t want them is fine by me. I don’t care how we arrive at the outrage, as long as we agree sexual assault is an outrage.
So, back to Manning. King published the piece on Saturday. On Sunday, he got the inevitable major blowback from the media outlets that adore ol’ Crayfish Shorts. King was accused of writing a one-sided attack piece spoon fed him by the victim’s lawyers. And he responded by doubling down on Monday by saying that everything in his original piece was based on the factual record. Here’s what we do know about America’s Most Beloved Quarterback and what he’s done to that woman who made the mistake of giving him proper medical attention:
— When Manning was at Tennessee, he was getting his foot worked on by Dr. Jamie Naughright, and he repaid her kindness by allegedly jamming his man parts down on her face.
— The Manning family, the school and the doctor reached a settlement and signed a confidentiality agreement. Which Peyton and Archie Manning violated in their book “The Mannings” when they portrayed Naughright as vulgar and foul-mouthed and said she was sleeping around with the school’s athletes. So she sued them.
— In court, Peyton could not back up his claim. He tried telling a story about some favor he did for Naughright that involved him giving some other students a ride at her request and she dropped some “mother******s” in there. But the story was refuted by everyone involved who unanimously said under oath none of what Manning described happened.
— The Mannings allegedly tried to get head athletic trainer Mike Rollo to lie for Peyton by claiming all Manning did was “moon” somebody. He refused.
— The lawsuit supposedly was a big reason why Dr. Naughright was fired from her job at Florida Southern.
— When Manning’s lawyers tried to get her suit thrown out of court, a judge ruled there is enough “clear and convincing evidence” for it to proceed.
— Most damning of all, the Mannings were not shy about smearing Dr. Naughton or playing the race card like they were in the Jim Crow South in 1925. They testified under oath that they told their ghostwriter to put in stuff about her “being with black guys” even though they had no first-hand knowledge.
And those are just the bullet points on this PowerPoint presentation of Peyton Manning‘s scumbaggery. I suggest you read Shaun King’s entire rundown. You should be outraged. You should be disgusted. And you should be sickened by the way he’s been promoted to sainthood and hawking pizzas and insurance while at the same time trying to destroy a woman’s life. You can be anything but shocked. Because this information was always out there. The news cycle is weird.