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3 Important Questions for the Eli Memorabilia Lawsuit

Eli Manning Memorabilia

Eli Manning has been criticized for his play on the field but in the recent weeks, Manning’s character has come into question. The reason for this is Eli is being sued by sports collector Eric Inselberg because Inselberg believes that Eli was fraudulently selling game-worn memorabilia. In other words, Manning was selling memorabilia that was not game used but Manning claimed it was game used. Manning, who was the 2016 co-winner of the Walter Payton for his off the field public service,  is in a difficult situation. Even though the case started in 2014, recently in an e-mail Manning sent to the Giants sports equipment manager Joe Skiba, Manning requested for 2 helmets that could pass as game used. Now with all that information, there are three questions that need to be answered in this lawsuit.

What is the definition of “game used”.

After the 2016 season, Eli Manning has played in 201 regular season games and 12 postseason games for a total of 213 games. Therefor there should currently at most be 213 game used helmets available in the market. Yet when lawyers get involved definitions of words will be argued back and forth. For example, Eli did not play in 7 games in 2004 there for would the equipment Eli used in the 7 games Eli did not play in be considered game used if Manning did not even play in the game? Also, with the e-mail, it could be argued that Eli was asking equipment manager Joe Skiba for two helmets that were actually used in NFL games.

Who was saying the material was “game used”?

Eli Manning was not selling the sports memorabilia in question out of the trunk of his car after a Giants game in the parking lot of Met Life Stadium. There was a go-between and in this case the go-between was Steiner Sports. Since 2004, Eli has had a contract with Steiner Sports and Steiner Sports would sell numerous Eli Manning sports memorabilia. Eli was not directly advertising the memorabilia as “game used” Steiner Sports was advertising the products as ”game used”. In this situation, blame could be held accountable for selling the phony material because they were either complicit in the scheme or do not know how to properly authenticate sports memorabilia.

Should Eli be penalized?

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell does have the authority to punish players for various indiscretions that occur off the field. Players such as Tom Brady and coaches such as Sean Payton have been suspended under Goodell’s watch. If Eli is found not guilty than Eli should not be penalized. Conversely, should Eli be suspended for this alleged indiscretion? If Eli is found guilty the proper penalty should be a fine. In the case of Brady with deflategate, Brady was illegally manipulating the game and with Sean Payton role in bountygate player safety was jeopardized. With Eli since there was a monetary loss, Eli should be fined. The amount of the potential fine should be correlated to the amount of money of the sports memorabilia.

Tom McAlister
Tom has an extreme passion for sports has he has participated as a player, coach, and referee of many different sports. Now he has started to illustrate his love of athletics by becoming a sports writer. Tom founded his own blog dfends.com and is now a SportsTalkLine.com writer covering the New York Giants Desk.
Tom McAlister