Is Fake Girlfriend Coming Back to Haunt Manti Te’o?
Sports fans can be fickle with their love or hate, but it seems Manti Te’o has not yet been forgiven for his fake girlfriend drama that captivated football audiences earlier this year. The San Diego Chargers linebacker, in his rookie season, has been voted the second-most hated player in the NFL, according to surveys from E-Poll Market Research.
The survey’s E-score took into account reports from 1,100 people aged 13 and over and rated more than 7,500 celebrities on appeal, likability, and other attributes. For football, only active NFL players who registered a minimum 10 percent awareness level with the public were considered. Te’o received a 48 percent disapproval rating, better only than Michael Vick at 53 percent. Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring back in 2007 and still hasn’t managed to erase that blot from his public perception.
Te’o, who claimed he was the victim of a catfish prank in the saga that included his assumed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, dying of cancer, has clearly not been able to convince fans of his innocence yet. Reacting to the survey results, Te’o said if people knew him better, they would have a very different perception.
“People have their own opinions and I’m going to continue to do what I’m doing and let my play speak for itself,” he said, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. “All that stuff doesn’t mean anything. Obviously those guys that voted for that don’t know me.”