Fake News: Nike Did NOT Cancel Kaepernick Contract After Backlash

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Nike Did NOT Cancel Kaepernick Contract After Backlash

Did Nike cancel Colin Kaepernick's sponsorship contract after the backlash that erupted when he was announced to be the face of an ad campaign to celebrate the brand's thirtieth birthday? No, that's not true: the site that initially published the story is a well known liberal website which publishes invented fake news stories with satire disclaimers but then tries to get conservatives and Trump supporters to believe and spread them to make them look foolish. The story is not real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on September 6, 2018 titled "UPDATE: Nike Cancels Kaepernick Contract After Backlash" (archived here) which opened:

Colin Kaepernick is as done with Nike as he is with the NFL. Following severe backlash over the company's decision to hire him s the face of the "Just Do It" campaign, the former 49ers quarterback received notice on Thursday that his ad campaign has been canceled.

According to Ad Week, the company made the decision based on three factors: "Kaepernick's unpopularity with 76% of Americans, racist comments he has made about white people since the contract was signed, and protests against his involvement in the campaign."

Ever since Kaepernick was announced as the face of Nike, Americans have been burning their shoes and sock and other Nike products to send a message to the company -- and it worked.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and so some of them might have thought it was real:

UPDATE: Nike Cancels Kaepernick Contract After Backlash

Colin Kaepernick is as done with Nike as he is with the NFL.

There is no news about this in Adweek and the links in the story all trick visitors into visiting sexually-themed content.

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

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
noun
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 worstpot.us before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident 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.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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