What We Can All Learn From the Manti Te’o Story

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame Fighting Irish football star Manti Te’o is all over the news, and has been for days. His hoax just keeps getting worse.

The hoax is old news. What I would like to talk about, is what we can learn from this whole incident.

Imagine this:

Te’o is just a 21 year old student at the school he chose to play football for. Let’s say he’s a shy guy. He’s not so hot with the ladies. Let’s say to avoid rejection he decides to try online dating so he won’t get hurt.

In steps “Lennay Kekua”, the imaginary girlfriend. Regardless of how long this went on, or how it developed, Te’o began to fall for her. He finally found a girl who accepts him. He is finally hitting it off with someone.

Te’o then can brags to all of his male friends on the football team, which is important, because football players tend to be all about being as macho as possible.

Then, the hoax is revealed later in the season. As his teammates continuously badger him for details about her, Te’o never speaks the truth, simply continues to feed his friends with the lie of Kekua. When he realizes how badly he’s been tricked, he avoids embarrassment by letting the death lie play out.

The point I’m making here and the point we all need to realize, is that this shouldn’t be anybody’s business except Te’o’s, his family’s and maybe the police.

Manti Te’o is a college student. He is a college student that happened to be tricked. The sad thing about this whole ordeal is that if Te’o didn’t play football for his school, this would likely not have blown up on such a grand scale.

Unfortunately, because Te’o was a football player, and a good one at that, he receives all the public ridicule and his entire life becomes a laughing stock for everyone in America. What allows anyone to know this dude’s private business, just because he is an athlete?

It saddens me that this is the direction media in our society is headed. The only reason this is a story is because Te’o played football. No one would be talking about this were he an average college student.

So what do you say? Are we ready to give this kid the privacy he deserves and move on from all of the Te’o drama?

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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