A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Kaepernick Arrest Story is False

Q: Was Colin Kaepernick arrested during an NFL game on Sept. 9?

A: No. That story was originally published on a self-described satirical website.

False Claim About Kaepernick’s Nike Deal

Q: Did Nike end its new deal with Colin Kaepernick because he made “anti-white” remarks?

A: No. That made-up story was first published by a website that says its work is satire.

Cops Kneeling: Still False, A Year Later

Q: Did police officers “take a knee” and then “walk out on” the Washington Redskins?

A: No. That made-up story was first posted by a self-described satirical website last year.

Answering NFL National Anthem Questions

Q: Does the NFL have rules for player conduct during the national anthem? Does the Department of Defense fund patriotic ceremonies at NFL games?

A: Prior to May 2018, the league didn’t require players to stand during the anthem. The Defense Department no longer funds various patriotic displays.

Tackling Fake Football Stories

Q: Did the NFL fine players who protested during the national anthem? Was a player fired for it? Are some players asking the league to host a month of anti-police activism? Will Fox Sports stop airing NFL games?

A: No. Three of those stories were made-up, and one is a gross misrepresentation.

A Spam Metamorphosis

We’ve seen a lot of misleading spam this season claiming Sen. Barack Obama is guilty of one or all of the following:

He won’t place his hand over his heart for the national anthem.
He refuses to wear a flag pin.
He replaced the American flag on his campaign plane with his campaign logo.
He has listened to Rev. Jeremiah Wright say offensive remarks such as “God damn America.”

Now the claims have appeared in an ad from the conservative group Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

Obama and the National Anthem

Q: Did Obama say the National Anthem conveys a “war-like message” and should be swapped for something such as “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”?

A: No. That’s false. The quote was one conservative writer’s idea of a joke, which has been picked up and repeated as though it were true in a chain e-mail.