The 1996 incident involving Jamie Naughright and Peyton Manning became the subject of two lawsuits because, after an initial claim against the University of Tennessee was settled, Naughright sued Manning for defamation of character.
She claimed that he and his father, Archie, disseminated false information about her in their book Manning. Specifically, Peyton referred to her as having a “vulgar mouth.”
So why did Peyton choose to even mention someone who already had filed a lawsuit based on his alleged behavior? Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com, who covered Manning throughout his time with the Colts, offered up a simple explanation on Monday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio.
“Because he holds grudges,” Kravitz said. “He is one of the great grudge-holders I’ve ever seen and it’s not something that he wears particularly well. It’s probably I would say one of his worst qualities. We saw it, remember the Pro Bowl, where he was angry at Mike Vanderjagt and a couple of days later Peyton went off on Mike Vanderjagt called him a liquored-up kicker. [Former Colts coach] Jim Mora was very critical of him after a game against San Fransisco. It was actually the ‘playoffs’ rant game, and [Manning] thought about it for a couple of days and went off on Jim Mora in a conference call with Baltimore writers. He remembers everything. He remembers slights like most athletes do and I think that’s that was all about is he holds grudges.”
Manning has remained silent in the aftermath of the latest developments regarding a 13-year-old document in a 14-year-old lawsuit regarding a 20-year-old incident that occurred when Manning was 19 years old. While he possibly wants to speak (and some would say he needs to speak, if only to address allegations that, on the surface, are troubling and disturbing), anything he says could trigger a separate claim from Naughright that he has violated the terms of the settlement agreement that resolved the defamation case.
So while he may want to say something along the lines of the things he said after Al Jazeera linked him in December 2015 to HGH, Manning’s best move will be to say nothing and to do nothing. Other than continue to hold a grudge that is now nearly old enough to buy a case of Budweiser.
To hear everything Kravitz had to say, click here for the podcasts from Monday.