Fake News: Nike CEO Did NOT Resign After Massive Kaepernick Blunder

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Nike CEO Did NOT Resign After Massive Kaepernick Blunder

Did Nike CEO "John Regale" resign after the controversy that erupted around Nike's sponsorship of Colin Kaepernick? No, that's not true: that's not even the real name of Nike's CEO. The hoax was created by a liberal website that likes to invent stories labeled as satire in order to trick conservatives and Trump supporters into sharing fake news so fans of the site can then mock them online for it. None of it is real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on September 5, 2018 titled "BREAKING: Nike CEO Resigns After Massive Kaepernick Blunder" (archived here) which opened:

Nike is in chaos after their decision to hire anti-American football washout Colin Kaepernick for their 2018 "Just Do It" campaign. Not only has the company experienced massive stock drops, and contract cancellations over their decision to hire Kaepernick, who is currently suing NFL owners for "collusion" -- an allegation as phony as Democrats' accusations against President Trump. Now, the CEO has resigned in shame.

Fox News reported Wednesday that CEO John Regale was forced to resign after the company's latest financial blunder.

"Facing backlash from all levels of the company, Regale elected to resign from his post," Fox Business anchor David Asman said Wednesday. "This leaves a hole in Nike leadership that will be difficult to fill because they will need to find someone who will not make such a colossal blunder."

The actual CEO of Nike is named Mark Parker, as can be seen on this page of the Nike website listing their executives:

About Nike - Executives

Your source for the latest NIKE, Inc. stories, news and company information.

He has not announced his resignation. All the other events listed in the story are also not true and the links either point to more fake news articles or a discussion about sexuality (instead of Fox News).

The site pushing the hoax 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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