Giants quarterback Eli Manning was in on a scheme to sell phony game-worn gear — sending an email asking the team’s equipment manager for “helmets that can pass as game used,” according to blockbuster court papers obtained by The Post.
The legal filing also alleges that Big Blue failed to produce the smoking-gun request — sent from Manning’s old-school AOL account to an official NFL account — even though “they claim to have no document destruction policy.”
But Manning turned over the incriminating email last week in connection with a civil racketeering suit that accuses him, his team and others of conspiring to fleece collectors of authentic athletic uniforms worn on the playing field.
Manning’s email is contained in a pair of exchanges that allegedly began when his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, asked Manning to supply “2 game used helmets and 2 game used jerseys” as per the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s contract with memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports.
Several hours after Zucker sent the request on April 27, 2010, Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba sent Manning an email saying: “Let me know what your [sic] looking for I’ll try to get something down for you…,” court papers say.
“2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli,” Manning allegedly responded from his BlackBerry at 2:08 p.m.
Less than 15 minutes later, at 2:25 p.m., Manning wrote back to Zucker, saying: “Should be able to get them for tomorrow.”
“Thanks Eli,” Zucker responded.
The emails were filed Tuesday in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court by three memorabilia collectors who are suing the Giants, Manning, Skiba, Steiner and others, including team co-owner and CEO John Mara.