Kyrie Irving

The war between fake news and the truth continues to wage on, and that’s true in the scientific community as much as anywhere else. Kyrie Irving didn’t help when he claimed the Earth is flat on Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye’s podcast in February.

Since then, Irving’s conspiracy has been something of a fun joke. Jefferson made a “Flat World Champions” shirt, and folks on Twitter take every chance they can for wisecracks.

But now we’re seeing how a star basketball player like Irving, who serves as a role model for many children, can taint minds by spreading misinformation. One middle school science teacher in Philadelphia said his students believe in a flat Earth simply because Irving said so.

From NPR:

Gurol says his students got the idea of a flat planet from basketball star Kyrie Irving, who said as much on a podcast.

“And immediately I start to panic. How have I failed these kids so badly they think the Earth is flat just because a basketball player says it?” He says he tried reasoning with the students and showed them a video. Nothing worked.

“They think that I’m part of this larger conspiracy of being a round-Earther. That’s definitely hard for me because it feels like science isn’t real to them.”

Irving may not care about his impact as a role model, but hopefully he and other NBA stars take notice of how their comments can potentially corrupt the nation’s youth.

[NPR]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.