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Opinion & Editorial

Recent Allegations Should Not Tarnish Peyton Manning’s Legacy

Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning, retired on Sunday, March 6, ending a legendary NFL career. Manning capped his illustrious 18-year career last month with a Super Bowl victory, becoming the oldest quarterback to win a championship. Yet at 39 years old, Manning knew the writing was on the wall. He had just finished the worst season of his professional career, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns.The Broncos won the title in spite of Manning, thanks to a suffocating defense that included Super Bowl MVP Von Miller.

Manning finishes his career with many NFL records.  He currently owns a record 5 MVP awards and is the all-time regular season leader in passing yards (71,940) and in passing touchdowns (539). Well known for his class and Southern charm, “The Sheriff” has earned the admiration of many NFL peers. Despite all of his accomplishments, however, recent allegations of sexual assault and PED use have tarnished his legacy.

Manning’s life after Super Bowl 50 has been awkward at best. Retirement questions have been overshadowed by a sexual harassment case from his days at the University of Tennessee. And a report from Al Jazeera earlier this year detailed Manning’s use of HGH, an allegation that the quarterback vehemently denies. And while the details of the Tennessee case are certainly damning, these accusations should not affect Manning’s legacy in the NFL. The Al Jazeera report is dubious (The news outlet has since shut down.), and the allegations of sexual harassment are shrouded with mystery. The Mannings and the female trainer previously settled the incident outside of court, so we may never know what actually happened.

Even if the allegations are true, the incident of sexual harassment should do absolutely nothing to his legacy as an NFL player. It happened over 20 years ago before he ever stepped foot on NFL turf. Manning has clearly learned from his mistakes and has not been in trouble since. He has become involved with local charities and hospitals in both Indianapolis and Denver. Manning has also started his own charity, the PeyBack Foundation, that helps disadvantaged youth.

By all accounts, he has become a model citizen and role model for many, including some current NFL players. And nothing that happened over 20 years ago in college should affect the legacy he’s left and the lives he’s positively affected.




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