The New York Daily News published a huge article about star quarterback Peyton Manning's alleged sexual assault from his time at the University of Tennessee. The article paints Manning out to have run a "smear campaign" against his victim in an attempt to leave her discredited.
This isn't the first time that this story has surfaced, as The Big Lead addressed this in juxtaposition with the coverage of the sexual assault case surrounding Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. Per The Big Lead, it is the most-read article in the site's history.
The story is important because it portrays a Manning willing to do whatever it takes to keep his image clean.
It shows a teammate of Manning's telling him that "coming clean is the right thing to do," and "you might as well maintain some dignity and admit to what happened," and "your celebrity doesn't mean that you can treat folks this way."
It shows Manning violating a confidentiality agreement to spin whatever narrative best suited his purpose, with that violation leading to his victim getting fired from her job (twice), and that Manning would allegedly concoct stories about his victim that couldn't, and wouldn't, be corroborated.
"I unequivocally state that this did not occur," one witness testified in conflict with one of Manning's stories that led to an out-of-court settlement for defamation.
This is a story in and of itself that shouldn't be ignored and shouldn't be glossed over because his career is at an end. This alleged event is disgusting in nature, and the subsequent fallout is shameful.
But this story also puts the recent events surrounding Manning and his alleged connection with HGH in a different context. It highlights how Manning has always had the ability to shape the narrative throughout his career, by manipulating those in the media, and how he's used that to project an image of his choosing.
This reveals a Manning without boundaries, willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead.
Per the NYDN author, "many more documents are coming and will be released in the days and weeks ahead." Read the current information here.