Alleged Criminal Mastermind Eli Manning Sold Phony Gear
Manning requested two helmets that could "pass as game used"
Back in 2014, memorabilia dealer Eric Inselberg sued Eli Manning and the New York Giants for selling him “game-worn” equipment he alleges was fraudulent. As absurd as the notion is that a man listed as the NFL’s second highest paid player would screw over some memorabilia distributors, emails sent by Manning may prove the accusations true.
On April 27, 2010, Manning wrote an email to Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba that read “2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli.” He then sent another email to his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, that said: “Should be able to get them for tomorrow.” Manning sent those emails within 20 minutes of each other.
The lawsuit further accuses the Giants of violating a no document destruction policy by failing to produce those emails for the court. Fortunately for the plaintiffs, Manning, as he’s done regularly since entering the NFL in 2004, turned it over.
Brian Brook, the attorney representing Inselberg and his co-plaintiffs, gave the shadiest of praise, giving Manning and his lawyers “credit for not destroying evidence.”
Brandon Jacobs, a former Giants running back and a key contributor to both of Manning’s championship runs, has his back. He took to Instagram, calling the accusations made against Eli bullshit (well, “🐂💩,”) and telling his followers the quarterback is as “wholesome as they come.”
However, Jacobs seems convinced Giants management once scammed him out of his Super Bowl memorabilia. In a separate Instagram post, Jacobs captioned a picture of himself breaking a tackle with the following caption:
All these memories wiped away when that asshole decided to sell my super bowl stuff and give me a fake one. You guys would be surprised at the shit that has happened. No loyalty to the ones who put blood on the field. This has changed a lot for me and for the higher ups to defend this shit is even more absurd. I’ll get my super bowl shit back alone with my TD balls and the other 15 jerseys of mine that they sold.
If there was even a shred of ambiguity on where Jacobs stands, he cleared that up in the comments, adding that his equipment “was sold by the equipment manager of the New York Giants.”
The Giants deny Manning’s emails prove anything. A statement from the organization’s attorney stated: “The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday.”
This drama started when Inselberg, along with five other memorabilia dealers, got prosecuted for selling phony game used jerseys in 2011. While the others pled guilty, Inselberg dismissed the indictment by arguing that Skiba and the Giants lied to the grand jury to hide their memorabilia scam.
One fan and co-plaintiff paid $4,300 for an Eli Manning game-worn helmet that he now describes as “$4000 paperweight.”