By now everyone has heard about what happened with Manti Te’o and his fake dead girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.
To hear Te'o tell this story, he was the unwitting victim of a mean-spirited hoax perpetuated by vicious internet trolls intent on ruining lives. He thought he had genuinely met someone who he truly cared for; whoever was operating things on the other end was merely looking to embarrass him.
When the person who he thought he was talking to supposedly died of leukemia, Te’o was heartbroken. His emotions were toyed with. His trust was broken.
He is the injured party.
Of course, that isn’t the only side of this story. Up until this past Tuesday, Te’o permitted the general public to believe that Kekua was a real person who died prior to Notre Dame’s game against Michigan State (in which he put up an extremely memorable performance) despite the fact that he was well aware it was all BS. And he knew it by at least late December. That, coupled with the various recorded inconsistencies in terms of how he previously said they met, the type of contact they had, and so and so forth, has left a lot of people wondering whether he was in on this scam the whole time.
After all, if Te’o wasn’t milking all this for attention and was just the victim of a hoax like he insists, why didn’t he fess up before getting exposed?
Because he wanted to protect Notre Dame. Or something.
As reported by TMZ:
Manti Te'o is telling friends ... he knew the truth about Lennay Kekua in early December ... but continued the lie for 20 days for the sake of his team.
Sources connected to Te'o say ... it's true what ND Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday night, that Manti realized he had been hoaxed on Dec. 6, when he got a phone call from "Lennay" ... months after he thought she was dead.
But sources tell us ... Manti didn't tell his coaches about the hoax until Dec. 26 ... because he thought it would be a huge distraction while the team prepared to face Alabama in the BCS Championship.
During the 20 days, we're told Manti struggled over how to handle the situation ... but eventually felt compelled to come clean to his coaches.
So there you go. The man isn’t just a victim – he is a hero, too. He endured the personal hardship of allowing people to think he had a great season in the midst of unspeakable tragedy for the good of his team.
It was inevitable that we would end up here. The natural stages when it comes to processing this sort of embarrassing ordeal are: denial, excuses, claims of self-sacrifice, and confession. We are on step three of four.
Give it a few days.