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Eli Manning is a public menace, at least to a small group of "Manningcast" viewers.
A certain hand gesture by the former New York Giants quarterback a month ago led to three complaints being filed to the FCC, according to TMZ.
The incident occurred Sept. 27, when Manning and his brother Peyton were discussing, who else, Philadelphia Eagles fans with former Eagles lineman Chris Long. The younger Manning recounted his past run-ins from one of the NFL's most infamous fan bases, particularly a time when a child gave him both middle fingers at a game.
Peyton, like your typical big brother, egged Eli into mimicking the gesture, live on the air. Video of the exchange remains plentiful on the internet. The full exchange:
Eli: "You're getting the double bird right away from a 9-year-old kid."
Peyton: "Do it, do it."
Eli: "I would give the bird — I don't know, can we do that? I'm sure you can blur that out, right?"
ESPN could not blur out Manning's double bird. Such are the limitations of live television.
Repercussions for Manning have been minimal. He and Peyton issued a sheepish apology one commercial break later and there haven't seemed to be any fines or other punishment from ESPN, who has been enjoying significant success with the alternative "Monday Night Football" broadcast.
Three people, however, were incensed enough by the on-air gesture that they called up the FCC, who should be noted has little power over regulating obscenity on cable television.
Here are the complaints, via TMZ:
"On ESPN 'Monday Night Football' Eli Manning used profane gestures that were despicable and unacceptable and fines should be levied," the viewer from West Chester, PA said in the complaint. "Young Americans should never be exposed to something like that, it was disgusting."
Another wrote ... "Mr. Manning's actions are offensive to me as a viewer. It was also offensive as a Philadelphia native and sports fan. There was young children watching that broadcast last evening."
"The FCC should take all appropriate enforcement actions against Mr. Manning and/or ESPN for Mr. Manning's conduct to hold them accountable to send the message that that type of behavior (even if he was re-telling a story) is not acceptable, including all appropriate fines."
A viewer from Tumwater, WA went as far as to demand Eli get banned from the airwaves.
Nothing too surprising there, though Eli Manning being the athlete in this situation remains one of television's biggest upsets this year.
This is also nothing compared to what the FCC sees from, say, a Super Bowl halftime show, as TMZ notes the FCC received a whopping 1,312 complaints from Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's Super Bowl LIV halftime show.