Social media hack may cost NFL prospect $17 million

A screenshot from the video of Laremy Tunsil that surfaced on social media minutes before the 2016 NFL draft. Photo / Twitter
A screenshot from the video of Laremy Tunsil that surfaced on social media minutes before the 2016 NFL draft. Photo / Twitter

Laremy Tunsil's draft night started in the worst way possible, with a video of the Mississippi offensive tackle smoking a bong through a gas mask being posted to his Twitter account just minutes before the Los Angeles Rams made the first selection of the draft.

Tunsil, regarded by some as the best player available, slipped in the draft to the 13th pick overall. After initially being projected as the number one pick, the drop to 13th could cost Tunsil an estimated US$12 million (NZ$17 million) in salary and signing bonus.

The 1.96 metre tall, 146kg Tunsil was seen crying in the green room, and immediately told reporters that his accounts had been hacked and apologised for an "old" moment becoming public after the video surfaced.

"It was a huge mistake," Tunsil said. "Things happen. I can't control [people] getting in my phone and hacking my Instagram and my Twitter."

Tunsil also had his Instagram account hacked, with screenshots of alleged text messages between Tunsil and one of his assistant coaches from college surfacing.

The texts show Tunsil asking for money under the table to pay his rent, and is likely to get his school, Mississippi, in more trouble than him.

Mississippi is already under investigation by the NCAA for improper payments and other misdeeds, and Tunsil only added to the school's woes by admitting the pictures of the texts were real during his draft press conference, saying "yeah, that happened".

Tunsil's former stepfather, Lindsey Miller, was immediately questioned as a possible culprit. He has been feuding with the player in the courts over a domestic incident involving Tunsil's mother.

Miller told TMZ "I don't know nothing about no video".

"I'm not even watching the draft. I was a Red Cross volunteer of the year. I would never do anything like this."

Tunsil later told Miami reporters in a conference call that he did not want to press charges against whoever was responsible.

When asked if he had learned anything after the night, he said "Yeah, you can't trust everybody."

- NZ Herald

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