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Antonio Smith: Texans’ locker room would laugh at Manti Te’o

Manti Te'o

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Rookie hazing is commonplace in the NFL, but former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o may need to be prepared for a little more than usual.

That’s the word from Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, who said on Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network that if Te’o gets drafted by the Texans, his treatment in Houston will be brutal.

“Our locker room is full of clowns and, oh, man people would kill him. I mean he would be the butt of every joke for at least two, three years,” Smith said.

Te’o has been the butt of a lot of jokes since the news broke that his supposed girlfriend was imaginary, but once he becomes a player on an NFL team, isn’t he entitled to be treated with respect by his teammates?

Maybe, but Smith says the reality of life in a locker room is that Te’o will need to show he can laugh it off when people make jokes about him.

“You just got to be a good sport, man, it is what it is and you know it is out now, it’s out in the papers and on TV, so all you can do now, you can’t worry about it, you can’t change it, all you can do now is laugh -- laugh with us while we’re laughing at you,” Smith said.

Fair or not, if Te’o wants to get along in an NFL locker room, he may have to suck it up and laugh with the teammates who are laughing at him.