Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o was going to be the focus of PETA’s joke at Super Bowl XLVII. The animal friendly organization was set to raise a billboard taking a shot at the star linebacker’s fake girlfriend and the hoax that has been revealed in the recent weeks.
After a request from Te’o's legal representatives, PETA has decided not to raise the billboard.
“We wish Manti Te’o well and are grateful that his recent fake relationship allowed us to call attention to the very real cruelty of chicken factory farms and slaughterhouses,” says PETA Vice President Lisa Lange. “Manti’s face has vanished from the ad, but all of our 100 percent cruelty-free vegan game-day recipes—including faux-chicken wings and sandwiches, potato skins, and more—are still available at PETA.org and are as delicious as a pick-six.”
Here was the billboard they were planning on running:
We understand that Te’o's legal team did no want to draw any more attention to the hoax, but this ad was not designed with any malice. It was meant to take a fun little shot at one of the biggest stories to rock the college football world. PETA’s mistake was using an actual photo of Te’o, instead of a cartoon version that would have still portrayed his likeness.