Sometimes, #FakeNews actually is just that.
That was the case earlier this week when a quote purported to be from Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison regarding NFL players refusing to stand for the national anthem made the rounds. The quote, which accompanied an image of Harrison, got a huge boost courtesy of NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick, whose tweet received over 3,000 retweets.
Now this is a man I want on my team! Too bad bad we have to sit around and watch disrespectful athletes sit on coolers!! Disgraceful! ?? pic.twitter.com/W8pCsncPQV
— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) August 14, 2017
Turns out, however, that the quote is entirely made up. The original source of the quote was a LockerDome.com article by a user named “Happy Gilmore,” who said Harrison made the comments on “KPLX,” a Dallas country music radio station. No such interview record exists and a Steelers’ PR person even publicly discredited the quote. Harrison eventually responded as well.
MMQB’s Jonathan Jones recently spoke with Harrison, who confirmed not only that he never made those comments but that people really need to do a little research before taking what they find on the internet as gospel.
“I mean, I guess it speaks to the gullibility of people. Just because you read something on social media doesn’t make it true. If you were to do that and believe everything that you hear or see, written or there, the world would be in a real bad place. And we’re already in a tough place now.”
“I mean, I think the source was what, Happy Gilmore or something? C’mon, let’s use a little bit of common sense.”
As for how he actually feels about players such as Colin Kaepernick and Marshawn Lynch who chose not to stand for the national anthem?
“That’s up to the individual, if they feel like that’s something they want to do, that’s their right.”
That quote probably doesn’t get as many retweets, though.