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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Sports Spiel: Manti Te’o is Getting a Tough Break

Courtesy of Neon Tommy on Flick

Courtesy of Neon Tommy on Flick

 

 

 

The nation’s fascination with the Manti Te’o hoax is one of disappointment, disbelief and anger. Many people simply just do not understand how someone can be deceived for well over a year. But despite Te’o’s conflicting reports and inconsistencies that we now see as red flags, you cannot help but feel bad for him.

The fact of the matter is that hundreds of people who use the Internet for dating have fell victim to people who portray themselves as someone else. Having met Lennay Kekua, his fictional girlfriend, on Facebook, Te’o was just one of those people who were fooled. The difference, of course, is that Te’o got major media attention, as he continued to use his situation as inspiration to his teammates and himself to win games. 

Imagine being in his shoes. You wholeheartedly believed that she is a real person, the love of your life, and is someone who understands your beliefs and shows real emotion and concern towards your problems. You’ve had hours of conversations with her on the phone. Your own parents and friends have had conversations with her AND her “family” on the phone.

And then suddenly you hear that she dies from leukemia. At that point Te’o reacted like anyone would. He grieved. But then imagine hearing back from your significant other three months after her “death” saying this was all a lie. I don’t know about you, but I would be very upset, to say the least. But then again, I wouldn’t be able to even grasp what to do next at this point. Would you? With all the media attention, with all the people you’ve influenced by your story, would you be able to comprehend what was being done to you? The pressure and the public opinion are all pressuring you to do the “right thing” even though no one is telling you what that thing is. 

Manti Te’o is just a 21-year-old kid who tried to be the best man he can be. He is a devout Mormon and a family man. In his first televised interview with Katie Couric, Te’o said that the worst part about this whole situation was how his parents were being affected by it too. It pains Te’o that his parents had to go through the same scrutiny, the same pressures and the same grieving that Manti had endured.

Even though Lennay Kekua was not real, Te’o fell in love with the idea of this woman. The only thing Manti Te’o is guilty of is loving and trusting someone too much. But then again, we’ve all been guilty of that at some point too.