We've all had a good laugh at the expense of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who is at the center of a surreal situation involving his nonexistent girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. The story has jumped the shark, but just when you thought it was safe to read about sports online again, we now have a local angle to this story.
According to a report from NFL.com's Jeff Darlington, four members of the Washington Redskins were involved in a similiar situation involving "Sidney Ackerman," a woman who conversed with them online under a false identity.
According to multiple sources, the conversations occurred mostly through Twitter's direct messaging function. But in some instances, "Ackerman" also sent separate photos of [adult actress C.J.] Miles to players' cell phones, never suggesting the photos were not her own, as conversations endured on and off for months.
"If you think about it, a lot of them are single guys, and they see somebody who looks good in a picture or something," [director of player development Phillip] Daniels said. "In many cases, it involves someone who is a fan of the team, so they'll start talking about the team. You have to recognize that something just isn't right.
"But you're talking about a lot of guys who are single. I don't fault the guys. I fault the people who are doing this crazy stuff, causing these problems."
On multiple occasions, several Redskins players attempted to arrange meetings with "Ackerman," but none of them succeeded, Daniels said. The numerous failed attempts led to suspicion, and Daniels then received some independent information about the possibility that "Ackerman" indeed was a fake.
Unlike Te'o, none of the Redskins players involved became emotionally attached to "Ackerman," instead pursuing her out of nothing more than physical appeal, sources close to the situation said. "Ackerman" also sent at least one player a pornographic video of Miles, which she also claimed to be of herself. On certain occasions, "Ackerman" also doctored photos of Miles in an attempt to personalize them and provide the athletes with a sense that she indeed was the person she claimed to be.
It was eventually discovered that "Ackerman" does indeed exist, is actually a woman and an avid Redskins fan. That's a relief.
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