Fake News: Miami Dolphins Did NOT Fire 2 Kneeling Players Before Pre-Season Kickoff

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Miami Dolphins Did NOT Fire 2 Kneeling Players Before Pre-Season Kickoff

Did the Miami Dolphins fire two kneeling players just before the pre-season kickoff? No, that's not true: the "news" was published by a satirical website that tries to get conservatives and Trump supporters to like and share over-the-top fake news with plenty of satire disclaimers and hints spread around the page so fans of the site can then mock them for not actually reading the article they shared. None of it is real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on August 28, 2018 titled "BREAKING: Miami Dolphins Fire 2 Kneeling Players Before Pre-Season Kickoff" (archived here) which opened:

Linebacker Horace D. Black and running back Manfred L. Brown were fired and escorted from the Miami Dolphins' Stadium in Homassassa, Florida. Both players ignored the warnings of majority owner John Schnatter, who said it was "unpatriotic and unacceptable" for black people to not show gratitude that they're allowed to make so much money:

"The least they can do is show some gratitude for the nation that gave them their opportunity. Right behind some white guys, black people are some of the highest paid athletes in football. They don't need to throw that away for life of suspended licenses and jail sentences."

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, making it clear the main goal of the story was to play on people's emotions so they wouldn't think before sharing:

BREAKING: Miami Dolphins Fire 2 Kneeling Players Before Pre-Season Kickoff

They were humiliated right on camera.

The "News" section of the website of the Miami Dolphins makes no mention of the events at all and their "roster" page does not list "Horace D. Black" or "Manfred L. Brown". It is no coincidence that their last names are "black" and "brown" either.

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.

The owner and main writer of the site is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites, including potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up and he keeps knocking them down.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

We wrote about trumpbetrayed.us before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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