The baseball blogger Ryan Schultz isn’t a married man with two children; in fact, the person behind the name is apparently a 21-year-old Midwest woman named Becca Schultz, sports news site Deadspin reported. The blogger wrote under the fake identity for a few blogs on the sports site Baseball Prosepectus as well as sports news site SB Nation’s Beyond the Box Score during nearly a decade of deception, starting when she was 13.
On Baseball Prospectus, Schultz was identified as “a pharmacist wannabe who writes about the White Sox and baseball in his very limited free time. His work can also be found at BP Wrigleyville and Beyond the Box Score.”
A Vox Media spokesperson responded on behalf of SB Nation, stating only, “We can confirm that Ryan Schultz no longer has publishing privileges with our site and is no longer affiliated with SB Nation in any way.”
In addition to faking a byline and background, the blogger has been accused of “duping and harassing women on Twitter” as well as soliciting nude photos via the account @rschultzy20. The account has been deactivated.
Before deactivating, the real person behind the pseudonym exchanged messages with Deadspin on Google’s Gchat, admitting to faking the personality and claiming it was because she was “young and thought the only way people would notice me is if I was the stereotypical guy.” From there, things spiraled, she said.
On Twitter, Schultz apologized for her “lies, deception, manipulation and abuse” and said that posing as the Ryan Schultz character she created caused her “depression and anxiety and emotional outbursts.” (While the Twitter account has been deleted, Deadspin linked to the apology image.)
One woman publicly tweeted that she had been “catfished” or harassed by Schultz, pointing to Deadspin’s story and interview with her. iMediaEthics has tweeted her to ask if she has been in contact with Schultz or the authorities. She said she hadn’t been in touch with the authorities or any of the publications that published Schultz.
Lindsey did an amazing job telling my and the others involved stories with respect and grace. https://t.co/W21oULNVtz
— Channing Tweetum (@ebrownie) November 10, 2017
I love the show catfish but I never thought I would end up being Catfished myself. Here is some news about Ryan Schultz (@rschultzy20) and part of my story. pic.twitter.com/8FR3o8a1nh
— Channing Tweetum (@ebrownie) November 9, 2017