Who was it? Was it real? What did it all mean? The @FootballerGay Twitter account that supposedly belonged to a homosexual English Championship footballer but was deleted on Tuesday before his identity was due to be revealed prompted a range of questions and recriminations.
Perhaps the most important one though is: what effect does the strange affair have on sport's LGBTQ+ community? As one of a minuscule number of openly gay professional footballers globally and the only Australian male player to have come out, 26-year-old winger Andy Brennan is well placed to answer. His view is unequivocal: whether or not @FootballerGay was a hoax, we must only take the pluses from it.
"I hope it isn't a hoax, but even if it is I think you just focus on the positives," he tells The Telegraph, London two months after coming out. "The positive energy it created with all the supportive reactions from people was more important than anything negative, and that's what you have to focus on – otherwise you let the negativity win."
@FootballerGay certainly received support on social media, with former England striker Gary Lineker among those expressing solidarity. For Brennan, the incident was reminiscent of Australian cricketer James Faulkner's Instagram post in April about his "boyfriend". The man in question was actually Faulkner's housemate and the post was not intended to be taken literally. But despite the misunderstanding, Brennan was heartened by the widespread messages of support Faulkner received.
In general, the past two months have been extremely uplifting for the Tasmanian Brennan. Formerly of A-League side Newcastle Jets, and now at Australian second-tier team Green Gully in Melbourne, Brennan revealed his sexuality in May – deciding that he could not bear the secrecy and deceit of pretending to be someone he was not.
He was extremely nervous about coming out, but has been overwhelmed by the support since: "The reaction has been amazing, I haven't had one negative comment. That was something I feared a lot with everyone I told, but everyone – teammates, family, friends – has been amazing. I've had no problems with opposition fans either, everyone's been really supportive. The way it's affected my life has been only positive, it's been so much better."
Brennan's experience chimes with many gay sportsmen and women who have been liberated after coming out. And when listening to the hugely upbeat Brennan, it is tempting to wonder why so many try to suppress their sexuality.
He explains, though, that a fear of rejection can make opening up extremely daunting. "It's all created by the environment you're in," he says. "I pushed it away because I didn't think it was normal, and thought people would judge me. And that I wouldn't be able to play football and be friends with the same people. I thought it would change my life completely.
"People throw in derogatory comments about gay people, and you think you can't be yourself around them. I've heard mates say things several times, and they would have no idea about how I felt. And even if you don't acknowledge it, it creates this environment in your own mind when you think, 'I can't, I can't, I can't. God knows if I can cope or not…'"