Big media names fawn over fake news story Colin Kaepernick got a new gig with New York Jets

(Image: ESPN screenshot)

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick being signed by the New York Jets was cause for celebration as fans from media personalities to politicians rejoiced.

But the embarrassing truth was that the news was actually a hoax shared by a parody Twitter account which quickly began to circulate along with messages of congratulations for the 32-year-old former San Francisco 49ers player.

A SportsCenter-parody account called “SuperToughScene” falsely claimed on Thursday that the “New York Jets have signed free agent QB Colin Kaepernick to a 1 year / $9 million contract.”

The name of ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter was included as well as the writer’s real handle, @AdamSchefter.

Though neither Schefter nor any other verified news sources reported or tweeted anything about a team signing the athlete, the false report took off on Twitter and in media outlets. Congratulatory messages poured in for Kaepernick, who hasn’t played on a team since becoming a free agent in 2017 following his controversial protest of kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.

“Thank you @nyjets for signing this amazing athlete,” Fox News contributor and former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile replied in response to the parody tweet. RNC rapid response director Steve Guest got a laugh at Brazile being duped.

“Sorry tweet hearts,” Brazile wrote later when Cleveland television station FOX8 published a correction to their article making the original claim that the New York Jets had agreed to a $9 million contract with Kaepernick.

But Brazile was far from being the only one who initially fell for the hoax.


“Some good news,” former Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed tweeted.

“WHOA. Well, that’s one big way to make some news and get people to pay attention to football and the Jets,” author, activist and U.S. Army veteran Paul Rieckhoff tweeted. “Good city for him. Bad franchise—for anyone. Get your popcorn ready. And brace for the incoming Trump tweet.”

In a follow-up tweet a few moments later, he noted that it was “obviously a parody account.”

TMZ Sports jumped into the scene, reporting that Kaepernick “has NOT been signed with the NY Jets, as fake reports suggest — but he IS reaching out to the team in hopes of landing a deal.”

The rush to recirculate the fake news was mocked by Twitter users, including the parody account itself.

The prankster, with the name Barry McCockiner, gave himself a pat on the back for his trolling and even suggested he get a cut if it all turned out to be true.

 

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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