Fact Check: Photo Showing 'FUCK TRUDEAU' Sign At Hockey Game Is NOT Authentic -- Sign Reading 'BELIEVE' Was Digitally Altered

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Photo Showing 'FUCK TRUDEAU' Sign At Hockey Game Is NOT Authentic -- Sign Reading 'BELIEVE' Was Digitally Altered 'BELIEVE'

Is a photo showing hockey fans spelling out "FUCK TRUDEAU" with placards authentic? No, that's not true: The sign spelled out by fans at a Stanley Cup game actually read "BELIEVE," and was digitally edited. Two different publications posted the original photo with the sign reading "BELIEVE." An online news search did not yield any evidence of a sign with a vulgarity and the name of Canada's prime minister displayed during a hockey game.

The claim appeared in a post seen on X (archived here) where it was posted on June 24, 2024. The post included a photo of a crowd, with most people wearing hockey jerseys. Athletes and a referee are seen in the foreground. In the middle of the crowd, fans holding multiple pieces of paper, each with a large letter on them, appeared to spell out "FUCK TRUDEAU." The post's caption read:

Canada right now.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-06-25 at 7.35.37 AM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Jun 25 14:05:55 2024 UTC)

A reverse image search of the photo on tineye.com resulted in only one link (archived here). The link led to an article (archived here) from Bleacher Report, a sports coverage website, which showed a very similar photo with athletes and a referee in the same positions and a crowd in the background. The article recounted events that happened during game six of the NHL's Stanley Cup championship. At the very bottom of the article was the photo of a crowd with athletes in the foreground, and fans holding lettered placards that spelled out "BELIEVE." Below is a screenshot of the photo as it appeared in Bleacher Report:

Screenshot 2024-06-25 at 10.27.55 AM.png

(Source: Bleacher Report screenshot taken on Tue Jun 14:30:41 2024 UTC)

Bleacher Report credits Getty Images for the original photo. The Getty Images photograph can be seen here. The caption on Getty Images read that this photo was taken June 21, 2024.

Another reverse image search (archived here) led to the Edmonton Oilers Instagram page. The team posted the "BELIEVE" photo in collaboration with NHL Europe on June 22, 2024. This is what the Instagram post looked like at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-06-25 at 2.25.35 PM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Jun 25 18:42:16 2024 UTC)

Lead Stories did a search using keywords on Google News, visible here, which found no credible documents or reporting to corroborate the version of the photo in the claim (archived here).

Lead Stories reached out to the Edmonton Oilers media team and will update this article if a relevant response is received.

Other Lead Stories article on claims concerning Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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