Last week, all eyes were on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos after winning the match-up against the Carolina Panthers at Super Bowl 50.
However, another piece of news that involves the Broncos quarterback was not as pleasant.
According to a report by the Denver Post, the NFL superstar was mentioned in a lawsuit that was filed by a group of women against the University of Tennessee.
The group, which is composed of six unidentified women, alleges that the university violated Title IX regulations because it failed to address sexual assault reports properly.
Peyton Manning cited in lawsuit alleging Tennessee violated Title IX and created a “hostile sexual environment.” https://t.co/ZHcWU9qtDD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 14, 2016
The lawsuit is centered on five separate cases of sexual assault that the school failed to resolve properly.
However, what caught everyone’s attention was that it also included Peyton Manning in the suit, and cited an incident about 20 years ago when he was involved in a sexual incident with a female student trainer.
While he was a freshman at the University of Tennessee, Manning, who was already shaping up to becoming an NFL first round draft pick, reportedly sat on the face of Dr. Jamie Whited without wearing any underwear or shorts.
Whited was checking on his foot for a possible stress fracture when Peyton Manning allegedly decided to do the act. Whited reportedly settled, and left the university after teaching and training student athletes for years.
In a 74-page lawsuit that was filed in 2002, it states that Peyton Manning and Dr. Whited, whose surname was changed to Naughright after marriage, agreed to a confidentiality agreement stating that both parties would not disclose details of the incident.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 13, 2016
However, Peyton and his father, former NFL player Archie Manning, violated the agreement when they recounted the incident in a book.
Naughright then filed for a defamation suit against Archie and Peyton Manning, the book’s ghost writer, as well as publisher Harper Collins. While the Mannings asked the court to dismiss the case, Polk County Circuit Judge Harvey Kornstein denied the motion.
Judge Kornstein said that even though the plaintiff is a public figure, there is enough evidence to “satisfy the court” that there is indeed basis to think that the defendants acted in malice.
“Specifically, there is evidence of record, substantial enough to suggest that the defendants knew that the passages in question were false, or acted in reckless disregard of their falsity,” the judge added, referring to Peyton’s claim that Dr. Naughright has a “vulgar mouth.”
He concluded that there is evidence to show that Manning was not being truthful in his statements about the complainant, and that he knew he was lying.
As a result, the defamation case was pushed and then settled a year later.
Lawsuit alleges University of Tennessee has ‘hostile sexual environment’ https://t.co/jk3EOjAlji
— Mashable (@mashable) February 10, 2016
The lawsuit that was filed on Tuesday brought up the Naughright case because they believe University of Tennessee created a “hostile sexual environment” against sexual assault victims, who complain about student athletes.
Because of the school’s “indifference” to such complaints, it made students more susceptible to sexual assault inside the campus.
Aside from the “clearly unreasonable response” and actions of the school, it also interferes with the disciplinary actions that should have been imposed on the offenders.
While the lawsuit against University of Tennessee is something that the school district and education state departments should look into, what is alarming is that the issue regarding Manning’s troublesome behavior in the past that has not been reported.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 13, 2016
Moreover, on the day that the lawsuit was filed against the university and citing Manning’s previous involvement, the media did not bother to pick it up right away. Instead, they focused on how bad the Panthers’ QB Cam Newton looked when he walked out of the post-game press conference. Is this mere coincidence, or has this been going on to protect the squeaky clean image that Peyton Manning has maintained over the years?
[Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]