Though we all know Peyton Manning as the All-American golden boy quarterback and future Hall of Famer on the cusp of leading the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl victory on Sunday, we now know that he wasn’t always a perfect saint off the field.
According to a report from The Daily Beast, Manning’s alma mater, Tennessee, paid a $300,000 settlement to a former athletic trainer who Manning allegedly sexually harassed. Per the report, Manning was receiving treatment on his foot when he started asking the trainer, Jamie Ann Naughwright, personal questions. The situation ended when Naughwright put her head down and looked back up to find Manning’s buttocks and testicles in her face.
And how did Tennessee discipline Manning? He wasn’t allowed to eat at the athletic facility’s dining room and had to get up to run at 6 a.m., all for a period of two weeks.
Oddly enough, Manning commented on the situation in the book he co-wrote with his father Archie Manning: A Father, His Sons, and a Football Legacy, he called Naughwright a “vulgar woman” and said she should have just laughed off the incident as a prank.
I’m sorry, but Manning’s views on what happened just aren’t OK. Sure, everyone does stupid things when they’re in college, but sexual harassment isn’t just something to “laugh off.”
Even though Manning has moved on and appears to have matured at least somewhat since college, this isn’t something he wants resurfacing right before the Super Bowl, even if Tennessee did settle the case. Already a polarizing figure, his critics really don’t need any further ammo at this point.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports