Giants quarterback Eli Manning has spent time recently defending himself against a lawsuit alleging he passed off fraudulent memorabilia to collectors by claiming it was game-used, something Falcons first-round pick Takkarist McKinley and the card company Panini appear to be trying to avoid.
The company wrote a post on their blog announcing that some of the cards they have touted as featuring McKinley’s autographs don’t actually feature McKinley’s autograph. They said the inauthentic autographs were discovered by “extensive research and working closely with McKinley’s representatives,” and that the company would exchange the cards for ones guaranteed to be authentic.
“While this is an extremely unfortunate situation, Panini America officials have agreed to work with McKinley and his representatives to rectify the issue by offering to replace any McKinley autograph cards from the aforementioned products with versions featuring authentic McKinley signatures.”
Brian Gray of Leaf Trading Cards told Darren Rovell of ESPN.com that McKinley also signed cards for his company and that they have been confirmed as authentic. He also shared other instances of players using other means to produce autographs, so this may not be the last time the provenance of memorabilia comes into question.