Fake News: Nike Did NOT Fire Colin Kaepernick After Arrest (Which Did NOT Happen Either)

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Nike Did NOT Fire Colin Kaepernick After Arrest (Which Did NOT Happen Either)

Was Colin Kaepernick fired by Nike after being arrested earlier today? No, that's not true: the story of his arrest was fake and the update about his firing is made up as well. Both stories originated on a liberal satire website that takes pleasure in fooling Trump supporters and conservatives into sharing fake news so fans of the site can mock them for it. Both stories were not real.

The story about the firing originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on September 9, 2018 titled "UPDATE: Nike Fires Colin Kaepernick After Arrest" (archived here) which opened:

Colin Kaepernick thought he was slick when he ran onto the field during one of his old team's games, screaming "black power" with his fist in the air. You know who didn't think he was slick? The police who yanked him off the field. Nike management also didn't appreciate his behavior.

Kaepernick faces charges of trespassing after he ran onto the field. While his lawyer bailed him out of jail almost immediately, but no one at Nike was willing to "bail him out."

After the incident, Nike President Charles Carmichael told MSNBC that they "have no choice but to release Mr. Kaepernick from his contract" because of a release clause that would invalidate the contract if Kaepernick committed a crime.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and some of them might have liked and shared it based just on the headline:

UPDATE: Nike Fires Colin Kaepernick After Arrest

Colin Kaepernick thought he was slick when he ran onto the field during one of his old team's games, screaming "black power" with his fist in the air. You know who didn't think he was

However the whole story about the arrest after storming the field in San Francisco was just another hoax pushed earlier today by the same website:

Fake News: Kaepernick NOT Arrested for Publicity Stunt During Anthem in San Fran | Lead Stories

Was Colin Kaepernick arrested in San Farncisco after crashing the field this sunday during the national anthem and taking a knee? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a liberal satire website that makes up stories that conservatives and Trump supporters will like in order to trick them into sharing fake news.

In addition, the president and CEO of Nike is named Mark Parker, not Charles Carmichael and MSNBC made no mention of the story. Charles Carmicheal is a fictional character from a TV show.

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.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes trumpbetrayed.us as:

A website claiming to be satirical that publishes fabricated stories, run by Christopher Blair, a known purveyor of disinformation, that published fake stories about Senator John McCain after he passed away.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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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