EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — An angry, assertive Eli Manning on Thursday denied any wrongdoing in the memorabilia scandal in which he is accused of defrauding collectors by passing bogus equipment off as game-worn.
“I’ve never done what I’ve been accused of doing. I have no reason, nor have I ever had any reason to do anything of that nature,” Manning said during a session with media.
“I’ve done nothing wrong, and I have nothing to hide. I know that when this is all done everybody will see it the same way.”
Manning, a 13-year veteran who was named co-winner of the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award last season, admitted to being hurt by and angry by the allegations.
“When you’re attacking my integrity it definitely makes me angry,” Manning said. “My track record of how I’ve handled myself since I’ve been here in New York since 2004 speaks for itself. I’ve tried to do everything with class and be a standup citizen. That’s what I have done, and that’s being attacked right now.”
Manning said he “just more angry than anything” in having to deal with these allegations, which he said were first made three years ago.
“It’ll all work out, and when it all does I’ll be cleared of this and everybody will see that I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Manning also defended the Giants equipment staff.
“The whole Giants staff has done things first class, done things the right way,” Manning said. “I have total confidence they’ve done everything by the book.”