Manti Te’o took a Maxim joke in stride after the men’s magazine had his “girlfriend” pose for a photo spread.
Te’o could have been embarrassed about the situation that unfolded earlier this year, when his supposedly dead girlfriend Lennay Kekua turned out to be a hoax the entire time. The entire saga was outlined in a lengthy article in Deadspin, proving that the girl who supposedly died of leukemia on the same day that Te’o’s (real) grandmother died was made up the entire time.
Since the story unfolded Te’o has been the subject of many jokes, including one from Maxim when Kekua was ranked No. 69 on the 100 Hottest Women in the World list.
Maxim writes: “After Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend hoax of 2012, we think it might be nice to have an invisible girl of our own to love. Why not? She’s got a ton of great qualities, including looking awesome in a bikini.”
For good measure, the magazine included a picture of a black bikini held up on an invisible woman standing in front of a blue sky.
The second-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers could have gotten upset or even just shrugged it off, but Te’o decided to go along with the Maxim joke. He even went to the Maxim party for the unveiling of the list.
The Chargers are likely happy to see his reaction. Te’o came into the draft with many question marks, including some poor play in the national championship game, but the team would hope that questions about the fake girlfriend would cease so he isn’t a distraction throughout the season.
The fact that Manti Te’o could play along with the Maxim joke probably has the Chargers front office breathing a little easier.