Women's rights group calls for sponsors to cut ties with Peyton Manning

by
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

UltraViolet, a national women's rights group, is demanding that prominent sponsors cut ties with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning after the re-emergence of sexual assault allegations against the quarterback from 1996.

Jamie Naughright, a former trainer at the University of Tennessee, alleged that Manning placed his genitals in her face while he attended the school. The allegations gained attention again when six unnamed women filed a lawsuit against the university Feb. 9, stating the school fostered a hostile environment for women and citing the incident as an example.

"When institutions like the University of Tennessee tacitly condone violence against women by ignoring cases of sexual assault by student-athletes, it perpetuates a dangerous culture of violence that ultimately hurts women everywhere," Nita Chaudhary, cofounder of UltraViolet, said in a press release obtained by ESPN.

"Nationwide Insurance and Papa John's Pizza must show their customers that they will never stand for sexual violence - and suspend their relationships with Manning pending (further) investigation."

The New York Daily News also recently shared court documents from Naughright's 2003 defamation suit, whose defendants included Manning and his father Archie, regarding parts of their book "The Mannings" that concerned Naughright.

It's eminently possible that Manning will opt to retire this summer after capturing the second Super Bowl of his career.

UltraViolet previously condemned the NFL for its handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.