Did Michael Jordan leave 'Kaepernick's Nike' and did he take Air Jordans with him? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to fool Trump supporters and Republicans into sharing made up stories that are clearly marked as satire when you actually click them. Articles from the site are frequently copied by foreign-run fake news websites. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators (or a liberal from Maine) via the ad revenue generated with the content which is probably not what they expected or wanted.
The story originated from an article published by BustaTroll.org on July 3, 2019 titled "Michael Jordan Leaves 'Kaepernick's Nike', Takes Air Jordans With Him" (archived here) which opened:
Michael Jordan is having no part of the new Nike. He left once before when Kaepernick first showed up as the traitorous face of some fake "courage" campaign. He was sued and had to come back.
This time, Michael isn't messing around. Not only is he leaving, but he is taking the formula for Air Jordans -- a formula he owns the right to -- with him. It's a game-changer.
According to industry experts, Jordan is signing Nike's death warrant:
"Without the anti-gravity liquid they use in the heels of those shoes, Nike is nobody. The rest of their stuff is trivial. Air Jordans are still three times more expensive than any other shoes because of that formula. Losing it isn't something they'll survive."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Michael Jordan Leaves 'Kaepernick's Nike', Takes Air Jordans With Him
The truth is right there in front of you.
The story was published in a category named "Warm Fuzzy Fan Fiction" and of course there is no "anti-gravity liquid".
The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run byself-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry extremely visible disclaimers everywhere.
Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
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.
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.
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.
Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:
'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America
November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories
STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.
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 bustatroll.org as:
A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.
According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.
We wrote about bustatroll.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Michael Jordan Did NOT Rip Up His Democrat Party Card
- Fake News: NO Pelosi Letter to Iran: 'Trump Will Be Out By Next Year'
- Fake News: Malia Obama Did NOT Cash $1.2 million 'Tax Refund' Check
- Fake News: 14 State Attorney Generals Did NOT Step Forward Demanding Indictments Against Clinton and Obama
- Fake News: Ihlan Omar Did NOT Commit Treason and Nancy Pelosi Did NOT Cover It Up