The San Jose Giants will be hosting Lennay Kekua Night at Municipal Stadium Friday, April 12, in honor of the fake, deceased girlfriend of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
Catfish will be on the menu for that night, and fans can bring their significant others — real or fake — to the game for free. There will be a meet-and-greet prior to the game so that the couples can introduce their parents to their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Fans who dress up like Manti Te’o will receive two free tickets to future games. Free tickets will also be given to Stanford University, the school Kekua supposedly attended.
While the premise for the night is based on one of the strangest sports stories of the new year, the San Jose Giants do recognize the seriousness of the disease that Kekua was said to have passed away from. The team will host an auction on April 12 and will make a donation to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
On January 16, Deadspin broke a story that Lennay Kekua, the girlfriend of Manti Te’o who allegedly died in September, never existed. Since then, Te’o's university, friends, and family have come to the 21-year-old’s defense, saying that he was the perfect mark for the hoax, and that she had duped others before him. Te’o himself has denied that he was involved in the hoax.
Adding another layer to this strange story is the fact that Kekua supposedly called Te’o on December 6 and told him that she had faked her death in order to evade drug dealers. Kekua tried to start her relationship back up with Te’o, but he was skeptical. After receiving a photo to verify her identity, he told his family and friends that he had been the victim of a hoax going back to 2009.
In either case, it may be a while before we learn the entire truth about Kekua and Te’o's involvement — or lack thereof — of the hoax.
Reactions to the Giants’ Lennay Kekua night have been mixed.
— Matt Clapp (@sharapovasthigh) January 19, 2013
Buncha f*cking idiots RT @sjgiants: San Jose Giants to Host Lennay Kekua Night on April 12 at Municipal Stadium: sanjose.giants.milb.com/news/article.j… — Anna Borgman (@anna_borgman) January 19, 2013
— Tommy Tran (@TommyTranTV) January 19, 2013
— Third Street Kings (@3rdStreetKings) January 19, 2013
Do you think the San Jose Giants hosting a night in Lennay Kekua’s name is in poor taste? Or was it just a matter of time before someone tried to capitalize on the oddity of the story?
[Photo credit: San Jose Giants]