NFL Concludes “Investigation” Of Peyton Manning, Internet Is Suspicious
"It's all good, everybody! Peyton Manning definitely didn't use HGH or any other PEDs! Yes, it's completely definitive! No doubt about it! Investigation is done! Now go about your days and forget we ever even mentioned it!" - NFL
Okay so maybe that's not exactly what the NFL said, but it sure as hell isn't far off the mark. Apparently in the seven months since the Al-Jazeera report connecting Peyton Manning's wife Ashley to shipments of HGH, the league has been thoroughly investigating the accusations.
Now since we've seen the NFL public battle with Tom Brady for the last 19 months over a deflated football, you'd think we'd have a nice long report to read or maybe one of those fun, controversial press conferences with the Commish.
No? Well, what about a press release that lays out the facts and where they found the exculpatory information?
Wait, that's it? Well do we even know when they talked to the Mannings, and what kind of information they were asked to hand over?
NOPE. Here's the sum total of what we know about their investigation is all here in two tweets from ESPN's Adam Schefter:
No seriously, that's it. Now I'm not saying that this should have turned into a DeflateGate situation. DeflateGate shouldn't have turned into that debacle, so I'm fine with things being taken down a few notches as far as player investigations go. And since Manning is officially retired, they wouldn't have had a way to punish him even if they had discovered that he used HGH.
But he's still the reigning Super Bowl champion quarterback, and if he was able to survive the final three years of his career by taking a banned hormone, he definitely deserves to a be held responsible for that in the court of public opinion at the very least.
And that's not me hating on Manning. Believe me. I personally think that certain levels of HGH taken for regeneration purposed should be legal. I also think players should be able to smoke weed in their free time and add or remove one or two PSI from a football. None of this is stuff that the NFL should be as concerned with as they are.
But if they are going to concern themselves with it, and launch these investigations, shouldn't every situation be treated equally? Why was DeflateGate carried out publicly while the probe into Manning's possible indiscretions was all but forgotten about?
And where are all the details? How were they able to come to the conclusion that Manning definitely never took HGH or any other PEDs when they still can't prove that there's any added advantage to deflating a football to 12.5 PSI?
The media seems to have very little knowledge about what they did to research and with whom they spoke.
Could this be any more vague? What are relevant records? Who was doing the researching and the reviewing? These are questions that - based on the way they have publicly handled other players - should be answered. They won't be, and the fact that Manning is no longer in the NFL will make that very easy. But they should be. And there are a lot of people calling bullshit on the whole operation.
None of this is to say that Manning is guilty of anything, other than being the teacher's pet. Maybe the NFL's investigation was as fair and thorough as it needed to be, and there was a lack of "credible evidence." The problem is that without any more details, and after the made for TV movie that we've endured with DeflateGate, it seems suspicious. And the frustrating part is that the NFL knew it would, and they just don't care to answer for it.
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