Manti Te'o and Colin Kaepernick: More sporting news of the weird
This week the news of Manti Te'o's imaginary girlfriend has dominated the sports chatter and Colin Kaepernick too in his own way. In case you have been on Mars, it has come to light that the well known story that Te'o's - Notre Dame's all american, all academic linebacker - girlfriend who famously died on the same day as his grandmother, did not exist. Te'o said that he was the victim of an internet hoax using Facebook and Twitter and he discovered that not only had his girlfriend not died, she did not even exist. I may be naive but how can you have an imaginary girlfriend? Of course, I know about having "friends" on Facebook but I am still one who has fewer friends than I have digits. Sure I have tons of acquaintances but precious few that I call "friend". I guess, Te'o is his generation's Elwood Dowd. If Dowd's best friend is an invisible rabbit (Harvey) then I guess Te'o could have an invisible girlfriend. Nonetheless, it seems to me that this would have been a five minute news blub but instead it has dragged on and on for the entire week. Thank goodness for the mute button. And then there is the story of Colin Kaepernick the San Francisco 49er quarterback. Kaepernick is biracial and was adopted into a white family. There is little doubt from the family interviews that Kaepernick is loved and deeply loves back. But one rather sad sidebar is of his birth mother. Kaepernick's adopted parents kept the birth mother informed about Colin's life up to a point in time. There is no evidence that she responded or even took interest in Colin until recently. When Kaepernick started to become famous, his birth mother resurfaced by posting on Facebook and tweeting him. Rightly so, Kaepernick has ignored her. Isn't it obvious that by using Facebook and by tweeting she wants the world to know that she is Colin's mother? Apparently she sees this as a vehicle for enriching herself. Such public display frankly disgusts me. I am glad that Colin is ignoring her.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com