The Manti Te’o catfishing saga just keeps getting stranger and stranger with new allegations that Te’o wasn’t the victim of an internet hoax at allÂ—some football fans are starting to believe that the Notre Dame linebacker is secretly gay.
Manti has claimed that he’s the victim of an elaborate internet hoax that is now known as “catfishing.” The name comes from the MTV series Catfish and the movie of the same name, which both focus on people who fall in love online only to realize that the object of their affection has been pretending to be someone else. An overweight girl might try to make herself feel better by pretending to be a model, or a gay guy could be hooking straight men by pretending to be an attractive straight girl.
Manti Te’o is hoping that everyone will believe that he was duped in a similar manner now that it’s been discovered that his dead girlfriend Lennay Kekua never actually existed. Deadspin reported that she was created by a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a cousin of former NFL quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo.
According to Outsports, because Lennay was created by a male, this has some internet sleuths wondering if Te’o and Tuiasosopo are actually involved in a gay relationship. They could have created Lennay Kekua together in hopes of convincing everyone that Te’o is straight.
Obviously the guys wouldn’t be able to keep up the hoax forever, so they would have to get rid of Kekua somehow. And what better way to do that than with a tragic death that would get Te’o tons of sympathy during his Heisman campaign?
Because Te’o lost someone that he loved so much in such a tragic way, people wouldn’t find it strange if he never went out on dates with gorgeous girls after becoming an NFL star. Since there are no openly gay players in the NFL, it’s obvious why a guy would want to hide being homosexualÂ—it’s hard to imagine how horrible the locker room homophobia would be.
But there’s at least one story that discounts the theory that Te’o and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo are actually gay lovers. An NESN.com report says that it was well-known on the Notre Dame campus that Te’o had “relations” with other girls while he was in contact with Kekua, and some of Te’o’s teammates thought he was using his relationship with Kekua as a publicity stunt.
So maybe this is what happenedÂ—Te’o was “catfished” by Tuiasosopo and a girl pretending to be Kekua (since Te’o allegedly talked to Kekua on the phone, it’s likely a female friend of Tuiasosopo’s was also involved). Maybe Te’o developed feelings for this fake person and talked about her to the press, and maybe he told a few lies about her because he was embarrassed about meeting her on the internet. And when his internet girlfriend faked her car accident and leukemia, perhaps he jumped on the opportunity to use her for publicity. Or maybe he was in on the publicity scheme the whole time.
Everyone wants to hear what Te’o has to say about all of this, but perhaps they should be hoping that Tuiasosopo decides to talk. He might be the only one who can explain who Kekua really is.
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