The New York Giants say an email sent by Eli Manning to the team’s equipment manager in response to a request from his agent to supply game-worn helmets and jerseys to Steiner Sports is being taken out of context.
The New York Post reported Thursday that Manning’s marketing agent sent a note to him in 2010 asking him for two game-used helmets and two game-used jerseys that would be turned over to Steiner. Manning then asked the team’s equipment manager for “2 helmets that can pass as game used.” The equipment manager responded he would comply with the request.
The report, based on court papers obtained by two Post reporters, suggests Manning knowingly tried to pass non-game-used equipment off as the real deal.
Three collectors are suing the team, its ownership, equipment manager, Manning and others over what they say are items he bought that were not what they were purported to be. Their attorney, Brian Brook, claims the Giants deleted emails that would show equipment manager Joe Skiba admitted to plaintiff Eric Inselberg that Manning had asked him to create “BS” versions of his game-worn gear so he could keep the real ones.
The Giants fired back Thursday in a statement sent to Sports Collectors Daily. Karen Kessler, a spokesperson for McCarter English, the team’s legal counsel wrote:
“The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday. The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server.
“Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character.”
According to the Post, Manning found the seven-year-old emails in the AOL account he was using and willingly turned them over last week as the court wrangling continued.