U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen’s office said Friday that the congressman misspoke when he told a cameraman that NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning don’t sexually assault people “other than their wives.”
Cohen, D-Memphis, was stopped on the street in Washington on Thursday by a camera crew with TMZ Sports and asked what he thought about the sexual assault allegations against Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Sammie Hill.
“I never heard of him,” Cohen said.
“I don’t keep up with football, except college football. Unless it’s Eli Manning or Peyton Manning. And Eli and Peyton don’t do sexual assaults against people other than their wives.”
Cohen’s spokesman, Ben Garmisa, issued a statement Friday:
“Congressman Cohen misspoke, abhors sexual violence of any kind, is a fan of both Manning brothers, and deeply regrets any confusion,” Garmisa said. “His intention was simply to indicate that Eli and Peyton are in committed, monogamous marriages.”
It’s not the first time Cohen’s off-the-cuff comments have created a stir.
In February, a video of Cohen’s rant over what he considers unjust marijuana laws went viral.
“Nobody dies from marijuana, but people die from heroin,” Cohen said during a committee meeting.
“Every second we spend in this country trying to enforce marijuana laws is a second that we’re not enforcing heroin laws.”
In 2013, Cohen’s tweets to a 24-year-old Texas State University website model touched off widespread speculation in the blogosphere about the bachelor and young coed. Two days later, Cohen said the young woman was his daughter, but DNA tests arranged by CNN a few months later showed she was no relation.