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Former Cardinals FB Reagan Mauia says Manti Te’o's girlfriend was a real person

Reagan-Mauia-CardinalsAs if the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend situation wasn’t bizarre enough already, Former Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Mauia added more confusion to the mystery on Wednesday night. Te’o and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick say the star linebacker was the victim of an elaborate hoax, and that he had an online and telephonic relationship with a woman that never actually existed. Mauia, on the other hand, says that Lennay Kekua did exist. In fact, he says he met her.

“This was before her and Manti,” Mauia told ESPN.com, explaining that he met Kekua when he and other Polynesian players, including Troy Polamalu, went to do charity work in American Samoa in June 2011. “I don’t think Manti was even in the picture, but she and I became good friends. We would talk off and on, just checking up on each other kind of thing. I am close to her family. When she was going through the loss of her father, I was — I offered a comforting shoulder and just someone to bounce her emotions off. That was just from meeting her in Samoa.

“She was tall. Volleyball-type of physique. She was athletic, tall, beautiful. Long hair. Polynesian. She looked like a model … ”

Mauia said he has been lead to believe that Kekua’s mother has been operating her Twitter account, but that he never met the mother. When a reporter told him that word is circulating that Kekua never actually existed he confidently replied, “No, she is real.”

If you weren’t already lost, you should be now. Is Mauia saying that there is a different Lennay Kekua, or is he talking about the same girl? Did she indeed die, thus explaining why her mother would be operating her Twitter account?

His assertion that he met her “before her and Manti” would seem to indicate that he believes Te’o did eventually become involved with Kekua. One significant problem with that is — as Deadspin pointed out – Te’o is beleived to have been “introduced” to Kekua in 2009, when he says he “met” her after a game between Notre Dame and Stanford. Mauia claims he met her in 2011, so the timeline would make no sense.

Then, there are also these tweets, which seem to connect Ronaiah Tuiasosopo to the Lennay Kekua fake identity.

To me, it sounds like Mauia is either brainwashed or just as confused as the rest of us. If he’s saying Te’o was not completely duped and that Kekua actually existed, he needs to explain himself in a much more detail than he did.

H/T The Big Lead
Photo credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Te’oing is the latest social media trend (Pictures)

Manti-Teo-Teoing-1

In the hours following Deadspin’s bombshell revelation about Manti Te’o and his fake dead girlfriend on Wednesday night, social media sites began buzzing with new jokes and social media trends about Te’o. As you likely could have predicted, there is now a social media trend known as “Te’oing.”

There is currently a Tumblr page dedicated to Te’oing, which is the act of pretending you have a girlfriend. People have been submitting photos of themselves sitting next to empty chairs, hugging imaginary people and even getting down on one knee and proposing to no one.

[Read more...]

Outsports questions if Manti Te’o is gay

manti-teo-outsports

Outsports.com, which is the leading website on all matters relating to gay athletes/gays in sports, is questioning Manti Te’o's sexual orientation in light of the story about his fake girlfriend. The site had the following headline as its featured story on Wednesday night: “Is Manti Te’o gay? Girlfriend hoax has many people asking.

In the article, Cyd Zeigler Jr. says he was bombarded “on email, text, Twitter and phone calls about [Teo's] sexual orientation” in light of the story.

Te’o and Notre Dame are claiming that the linebacker was the victim of an elaborate hoax involving multiple characters. They say he was duped into believing that a person posing as “Lennay Kekua” was real and that he had a relationship with her for years despite never meeting her in person.

Zeigler writes that creating a fake girlfriend is a good ruse to cover up one’s homosexuality:

I can certainly understand why people think this might be pointing to his sexual orientation. There has never been a publicly out NFL player. There has never been a publicly out Div. 1 football player. But we know they’re out there. And if they were out there and wanted to hide their sexual orientation — or a relationship with another man — a fictitious girlfriend is a good way to do it. The fantastic story about car accidents and death by leukemia would just be showing off that stereotypical gay flair for the dramatic.

Zeigler even referenced a past scheme pulled by an older gay man who created a false identity as a teenage hockey player, and later used his fake identity to proposition someone.

Te’o and Notre Dame say the linebacker never met Kekua in person. A story related by the South Bend Tribune in October contradicts that assertion. They say Te’o met Kekua after the Stanford-Notre Dame game in 2009.

Here’s what the story (since removed from the South Bend Tribune’s website) said:

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Tweets connect Ronaiah Tuiasosopo to Lennay Kekua hoax

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o had a fake girlfriend. The story by Deadspin published on Wednesday first asserted that, and Notre Dame confirmed it in a press conference later in the day.

At this point we know that Te’o lied in some capacity about the story. He either:

a) Was part of the hoax and lied for some twisted reason (Deadspin reports his motivation was to gain publicity)

or

b) Lied about how he met his girlfriend, maybe because he was embarrassed about it being an online relationship.

No matter which side you believe — that he was in on it or not — Te’o lied.

Late Wednesday night, Twitter user Justin Megahan dug up some tweets from a few Twitter users who connected a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo to the Lennay Kekua fake identity.

[Read more...]

Ex-Stanford DT Matthew Masifilo says Manti Te’o was always asking if they knew his girlfriend

manti teo notre dameFormer Stanford defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo thinks Manti Te’o was truly duped by his fake girlfriend.

Masifilo, who played at Stanford from 2007-2011 and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in November, claims Te’o was always asking Stanford players if they knew his mystery girlfriend.

For what it’s worth, Masifilo is half Tongan and half Hawaiian. He played high school football in Hawaii.

Based on what he’s saying Te’o may have been duped by someone. Either that, or he was so deep into his web of lies, he would go to these extremes to keep up the story.

Previously: Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend reportedly was a hoax
Previously: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame statements claim LB was victim of hoax
Previously: Catfish’s Nev Schulman says he is working on Manti Te’o story

Catfish’s Nev Schulman says he is working on Manti Te’o story

Nev Schulman, the star of the documentary “Catfish” and host of the similarly named TV show on MTV, says he will be working on the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax story.

nev schulmanWe don’t know if Schulman is joking about the matter, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get involved. At the least, his tweet proves how far-reaching this story has become.

“Catfishing,” is about to enter the American lexicon thanks to Wednesday’s affairs. The name refers to the practice of someone who creates a fake identity to deceive another person for purposes of an online relationship. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick referenced the term when defending Te’o as a victim in the alleged hoax.

Schulman hosts “Catfish: The TV Show,” in which he gets two people who have forged an online relationship to meet for the first time to see if one has been fooled or not.

This story will only get more interesting.

Previously: Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend reportedly was a hoax
Previously: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame statements claim LB was victim of hoax

H/T Marcus Vanderberg
Photo: Twitter/Nev Schulman

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick: Manti Te’o got call from dead girlfriend

manti teo notre dameNotre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick held a press conference on Wednesday to address the explosive story from Deadspin that says linebacker Manti Te’o's deceased girlfriend was a hoax. Deadspin reported a source was 80 percent sure that Te’o was in on the hoax and did so in order to gain publicity. Many details about the story don’t add up, and they seem to point to Te’o being involved in the hoax or, at the very least, lying on numerous occasions about his girlfriend.

The skepticism matters little to Notre Dame’s athletic department, which called the press conference to stand by their star linebacker.

In what will likely be remembered as the moment Notre Dame attached its anchor to the sinking Te’o ship, Swarbrick defended Te’o as an incredibly naive, gullible person who was duped by a group of characters out to get him. Swarbrick tried to uncover the alleged schemers’ motivation, suggesting they wanted to lead Te’o to commit an NCAA violation. Yeah, he went there.

But the most amazing revelation from the press conference came when Swarbrick said Te’o first approached the school about a potential hoax after claiming to have received a phone call from the girlfriend on Dec. 6 after her supposed September death.

“On the morning of December 26, Manti called his coaches to inform them that while he was in attendance at the ESPN awards show in Orlando, he received a phone call from a number he recognized as having been associated with Lennay Kekua. When he answered it, it was a person whose voice sounded like the same voice he had talked to, who told him that she was, in fact, not dead,” Swarbrick explained.

“Manti was very unnerved about that, as you could imagine. But he maintained that secret until he called the coaches on the morning of the 26th.”

Swarbrick says the coaches informed him about the incident, and that he spoke with Te’o about it on Dec. 27 and 28.

“He became startled, shocked. That was absolutely the first sign,” Swarbrick said of Te’o's reaction. “It goes to my comments about Manti and his character. Every single thing about this until that day in the first week of December was real about this to Manti. There was no suspicion that it wasn’t, no belief that it might not be. The pain was real, the grief was real, the affection was real.”

How do we explain that one? Maybe it was the moment Te’o was finally ready to end the whole act.