Fake News: Federal Government Did NOT Cancel $80 Million Nike Contract

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Federal Government Did NOT Cancel $80 Million Nike Contract

Did the Federal Government cancel an eighty million dollar contract with Nike after the announcement the company gave Colin Kaepernick a contract to appear in their ads? No, that's not true: the government contract is completely fictional and was invented by a liberal site which tries to get gullible conservatives and Trump supporters to share fake news. The entire story is not real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense (using the domain trumpbetrayed.us) on September 4, 2018 titled "BREAKING: Federal Government Cancels $80 Million Nike Contract" (archived here) which opened:

The Trump administration has quietly dealt a blow to Nike that has sent the company stocks tumbling. According to Housing, Clothing, and Utility Bill Director, Art Tubolls:

"HCUB has canceled it's contract with Nike to provide footwear, outerwear and other sports apparel to any US athlete. Whether they compete at the Junior Olympic, National Championship, Olympic, or Special Olympic event, athletes wearing the American Flag are no longer to be associated with this hateful company."

If you haven't been watching, Nike has decided it hates America by backing the people who feel it necessary to disrespect dead veterans. They gave Colin Kaepernick a contract and he doesn't even play football. That right there should be illegal. When the middle class of this country decides a person isn't good enough, that's final.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

BREAKING: Federal Government Cancels $80 Million Nike Contract

Nike stock is plummeting.

That bit is somewhat true: Nike stock lost up to 2.8% today as of the time of writing, you can check the current stock price here:

NKE : Summary for Nike, Inc. - Yahoo Finance

View the basic NKE stock chart on Yahoo Finance. Change the date range, chart type and compare Nike, Inc. against other companies.

But the phrase "sent the company stock" in the article actually linked to a Google translation of "Nike doesn't care what you think" from Arabic to English.

There also is no "Housing, Clothing, and Utility Bill" department in the Trump administration and the name of its supposed director "Art Tubbols" is just an anagram for "Busta Troll", the owner of the website originally pushing the hoax.

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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