Eli Manning and the New York Giants were named in a civil racketeering suit brought by a sports memorabilia collector in 2014. The suit alleged that the quarterback and the team falsified game-worn memorabilia. Today, the New York Post obtained emails that were recently entered as evidence that can be construed to directly implicate Manning and Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba.
Per the Post, Manning was asked by his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, to satisfy a contract with memorabilia firm Steiner Sports for “2 game used helmets and 2 game used jerseys.” Manning later sent the following email Skiba, the equipment manager, who asked the quarterback what he was looking for:
“2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli,” Manning allegedly responded from his BlackBerry at 2:08 p.m.
Then he responded to Zucker:
Less than 15 minutes later, at 2:25 p.m., Manning wrote back to Zucker, saying: “Should be able to get them for tomorrow.”
These emails were turned over by Manning last week, and filed into civil court earlier this week. Emails from the inboxes within the Giants organization that would have pertained to the case were not preserved.
While there exists the possibility that Eli could have meant for Skiba to find actual game-worn helmets, this part of the story, if true, is further troubling:
On Thursday, [plaintiffs’ lawyer Brian] Brook told The Post that the Giants “have not clearly addressed the issue” of the emails between Manning and Skiba that the team didn’t turn over.
Brook further alleged that “it appears to be the case that someone at the Giants organization deleted” those emails, as well as another, previously disclosed 2008 exchange.
In those emails, Skiba allegedly admitted to plaintiff Eric Inselberg that Manning had asked him to create “BS” versions of a game-used helmet and jersey because Manning “didnt want to give up the real stuff.”
The fallout from these alleged revelations will be very interesting to observe.