Facts Matter: Mahomes's shirt altered to poke fun at Trump

  • Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, left, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have the jokes, but they aren't about a fake photo of Mahomes making the rounds online that pokes fun at President Trump.

    Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, left, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have the jokes, but they aren't about a fake photo of Mahomes making the rounds online that pokes fun at President Trump. Associated Press

  • Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, isn't planning a protest in Missouri. Or Kansas.

    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, isn't planning a protest in Missouri. Or Kansas. Associated Press file photo, September 2019

 
 
Updated 2/15/2020 5:57 PM

After the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers, a photo made its way to social media showing Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes wearing a shirt that featured the shape of Missouri with the words "The Great State of Kansas."

The fake post, which was shared more than 15,000 times, according to PolitiFact.com, is a doctored image that appears to poke fun at a Twitter post President Donald Trump sent after the game.

 

Trump wrote, "Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game and a fantastic comeback, under immense pressure. You represented the Great State of Kansas and, in fact, the entire USA, so very well."

But the Chiefs play in Kansas City, Missouri, not Kansas. The president deleted that Twitter post shortly after it went out and replaced it with a corrected version, stating, "We are proud of you and the Great State of Missouri."

The fake image was manipulated from a photo of Mahomes on a post-Super Bowl trip to Walt Disney World, posted on Twitter by his agent Jacquelyn Dahl with the caption, "Let the victory tour begin!," PolitiFact said. In the original image Mahomes appears to be on a plane and is wearing a shirt with the word "Showtime," along with his jersey number, 15.

Activist isn't planning rally in Missouri

Other false memes also resulted from Trump's Twitter post citing the wrong home state for the Chiefs.

A photo of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg holding a sign was falsified to make the sign read, "Our next rally will be in Kansas City, Missouri! This way Trump and his supporters won't be able to find us," <URL destination="https://apnews.com/afs:Content:8451161446">according to The Associated Press.

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</URL>The original photo, which Thunberg posted to her Twitter account on May 14, 2019, showed the 17-year-old holding a sign that reads, "Let Russia strike for climate #FridaysForFuture," the AP said. She included the comment, "In some countries it is illegal to #schoolstrike4climate. That makes our responsibility, we who can strike, even bigger."

That photo has been used on other occasions to change the message on Thunberg's sign, the AP said. The latest false version was shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter.

That's not where the virus started

A mislabeled video making the rounds on social media shows a market selling bats and snakes, along with live caged dogs, and claims it is the Wuhan market in China, where the current strain of coronavirus originated.

But the video was posted to YouTube months before the outbreak and the market pictured is in Indonesia, according to The Associated Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The footage, posted last July, shows roasted rats, cut up snakes and dogs for sale at the Langowan Market in Sulawesi, Indonesia, the AP said. A phrase in Indonesian at the beginning of the video, when translated to English, says "Langowan EXTREME Market."

Health officials have said the virus, first detected in December, can be traced to a seafood market in Wuhan, China, the AP said. Recent figures show more than 24,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 490 deaths in China.

Every day is the #BroomstickChallenge!

The #BroomstickChallenge on social media originated from false claims that a broom will stand up by itself on two days each year, the vernal and autumnal equinox, because of Earth's gravitational pull, according to NBC News.

But, with a little patience, a broom can be made to stand on its own any day of the year.

The idea of a broom standing because of the planet's gravitation pull during the equinox is a false, much like the myth that an egg will balance on its end on those days, NBC News said.

The challenge originated in a Twitter post, citing NASA, that shows a woman balancing a broom as she exclaims there are "no strings" involved.

That post received more than 260,000 likes, was shared more than 60,000 times and led to other posts of people standing up brooms.

There is no evidence NASA made this claim, NBC News said. In fact, NASA astronaut Alvin Drew and scientist Sarah Noble posted a video of a broom they made stand on its own the day after it was supposed to be possible.

In the video, Noble asks, "Did you do the Broomstick Challenge yesterday? Well, turns out you can do it again today."

Brooms have a low center of gravity, according to Snopes.com. If you spread the bristles, it will create a tripod-like effect that will hold up the broom.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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