JAY-Z‘s lyrics have helped professional football player Manti Te’o to become more comfortable with the retelling of his infamous catfish story from 2012.
The football free agent paid a visit to CBS Mornings to promote his new Netflix documentary Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, highlighting the controversial fake girlfriend story he was involved with in 2012.
According to Te’o, one of Hov’s lines on “Kill JAY-Z,” taken from Jay’s 2017 album 4:44, inspired him to come out with his story.
“Cam Jordan with the Saints took a bunch of us teammates to a JAY-Z concert,” Te’o recalled. “And at that concert, JAY-Z opens up with saying these words: ‘You cannot heal what you don’t reveal.’ And it may have been just some random words to everybody, but for me, at that time, it hit me like a ton of bricks.”
He added: “I challenged myself at that time that if anybody asked about it or had questions about it that I’d be open, I’ll have those conversations, and I started to feel the strength that I would get from talking about it.
“But more importantly, I started to realize the love and support and empathy that I was sharing it with.”
The Te’o’s catfish incident was one of the most bizarre stories in sports history. In 2012, the athlete became the center of attention when he believed he was in a legitimate online relationship with a woman named Lennay Kekua while attending and playing college football at Notre Dame University.
Kekua passed away, and Te’o went on an incredible run that saw him win several awards and play in the BCS Championship game in 2013. Things went awry, however, when Deadspin reported Kekua wasn’t real, and accused Te’o of using her to gain national publicity.
Manti Te’o stood by his claim that he was deceived in a catfishing hoax orchestrated by Ronaiah “Anaya” Tuiasosopo, a former friend of the athlete. Tuiasosopo took full responsibility for the hoax and supported Te’o’s claims that he wasn’t involved whatsoever.
When it comes to football, JAY-Z is making his presence felt in more ways than just inspiring athletes with his lyrics. He’s also supported his peers in putting on the historical Super Bowl LVI halftime show.
According to Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and N.O.R.E, JAY-Z had to pull some strings to see the show get off the ground. According to the Doggfather, Jay threatened to leave his position as the NFL’s live music and entertainment strategist if Dre and co. weren’t performing at the show.
N.O.R.E claimed Eminem told his “Renegade” collaborator he wouldn’t show up if 50 Cent couldn’t join him, and most recently, Dr. Dre admitted Hov and Nas pushed him to go through with the show after feeling people thought he was selling out.