Fact Check: Lakers Players Did NOT Wear Special Lace Collars To Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Lakers Players Did NOT Wear Special Lace Collars To Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg Satire

Did LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers' leading scorers this season, wear lace collars to honor the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her death? No, that's not true: This is a satirical claim published by a known satire website. Neither James, Davis, nor any other NBA players have worn lace collars in the couple games that have happened since her death.

The claim originated from an article published by "The Babylon Bee" on September 22, 2020, titled "NBA Players Wear Special Lace Collars To Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg" (archived here) which opened:

LOS ANGELES, CA--NBA players are honoring the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week by wearing pretty lace collars just like Notorious RBG used to wear. In a touching show of respect for the late Justice Ginsburg, and in solidarity with her progressive cause, Lebron James and the LA Lakers took to the court yesterday wearing a stunning variety of delicate white collars inspired by RBG's wardrobe.

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

NBA Players Wear Special Lace Collars To Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg

LOS ANGELES, CA--NBA players are honoring the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week by wearing pretty lace collars just like Notorious RBG used to wear. In a touching show of respect for the late Justice Ginsburg, and in solidarity with her progressive cause, Lebron James and the LA Lakers took to the court yesterday wearing a stunning variety o ...

The following is the actual shot of James and Davis which does not feature the photoshopped lace collars:

Screen Shot 2020-09-23 at 8.42.27 AM.png

A clip of the pregame coverage that this shot appeared in can be found here.

The Babylon Bee is a satire site with following disclaimer on the 'about' page:

What is The Babylon Bee?

The Babylon Bee is the world's best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.

The Babylon Bee was created ex nihilo on the eighth day of the creation week, exactly 6,000 years ago. We have been the premier news source through every major world event, from the Tower of Babel and the Exodus to the Reformation and the War of 1812. We focus on just the facts, leaving spin and bias to other news sites like CNN and Fox News.

If you would like to complain about something on our site, take it up with God.

Unlike other satire sites, everything we post is 100% verified by Snopes.com.

The site has been feuding with Snopes and CNN in the recent past over accusations that wasn't being transparent enough about being satirical:

Satire or Deceit? Christian Humor Site Feuds With Snopes

The Babylon Bee says Snopes went too far in fact-checking a satirical story. Snopes had suggested the Bee twisted its joke to deceive readers. It's a fake-news feud made for 2019. On one side is Snopes, the influential fact-checking website founded 25 years ago.

Babylon Bee stings CNN with satirical article: There's only room for 'one fake news site'

The Babylon Bee had some fun at the expense of CNN after one of its reporters attacked the conservative satirical site over an article's popularity on social media.

At Lead Stories we are big fans of satire but in accordance with our Satire Policy we sometimes fact-check satirical content if it seems there are many people who don't get the joke (or if the joke gets stolen by Macedonian fake news sites and is then presented as "news"). To quote from our Satire Policy:

Sometimes jokes need to be fact checked. Not for you, because you are smart and you get the joke. But for the crazy uncle who thinks it is real. Or for the foreign journalist who doesn't know what The Onion is. Or for the people who missed the disclaimer and the hints. Or because the disclaimer and the hints were hidden on purpose.

And that is certainly not hypothetical in the case of The Babylon Bee:

Early in 2020 Sputnik News was fooled by a piece from The Babylon Bee into reporting Jordan Peterson would be hosting the Oscars. If only they had read our fact check from a year before...

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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