ESPN Falls for Fake ESPN Report About Colin Kaepernick Signing with the Jets


A popular sports parody account tricked Twitter users and media outlets alike Thursday when it tweeted that national anthem protester and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had finally gotten another NFL job.

The SuperToughScene Twitter account has been hard at work for several years duping unsuspecting users and sometimes high-profile media accounts with “reports” that are sometimes so obviously fake, it makes you wonder how anyone would fall for them.

The account might have had its most successful disinformation campaign ever Thursday when it tweeted that the New York Jets had signed Kaepernick to a one-year, $9 million contract.

It cloaked itself by changing its name and photo to appear nearly identical to the official ESPN “SportsCenter” account as it tweeted the fake news about Kaepernick.

The account even tagged ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, for good measure.

Jack Smith Runs to Judge Chutkan, Claims Trump Violated Terms of Release with Gun Video

It should have been easy to spot the fake because despite the sports troll account’s change in name and photo, it lacked a verified blue checkmark and its non-ESPN handle was still visible.

Still, many people fell for the “breaking news” — including those who clearly should have known better.

Do you think Colin Kaepernick's NFL career is over?

The Twitter account for The Undefeated, an ESPN-owned site billed as “the premier platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture,” retweeted the fake news without comment.

It soon deleted the retweet, but not before SuperToughScene had taken a screen shot.

Former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile also bit on the fake news.

Desperate Disney Conducting 'Viewership Experiment' with 'Monday Night Football' Games

“Thank you @nyjets for signing this amazing athlete,” Brazile wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

She issued an apology tweet upon learning she had been tricked.

“Sorry tweet hearts,” Brazile commented while sharing an article from WGHP-TV in North Carolina confirming the deception.

WGHP also fell for the tweet and wrote a report about Kaepernick signing with the Jets. That story now includes an apology to its audience for reporting the fake news.

The fake news even elicited responses from both Kaepernick and his social justice warrior girlfriend, Nessa Diab.

Diab commented on Twitter that despite the reports of her boyfriend’s signing with the Jets being false, the team should reach out to him.

“They should sign @Kaepernick7 . Any team that actually wants to win should sign Colin. He still continues to train & as you all saw @ his workout, HE’S BEEN READY W HIS ‘ELITE ARM STRENGTH’, as an @NFL scout said. Team Owners/ NFL can stop blackballing him @ anytime,” she wrote.

TMZ Sports reported that the saga had inspired Kaepernick to reach out to the Jets to see if there was any interest in signing him.

The SuperToughScene account has been taking a victory lap on Twitter, sharing screen shots of the dozens of people it duped.

It’s safe to say that many people were so quick to want to believe the news about Kaepernick getting signed that they didn’t even bother to click on the account, which would have quickly led them to the conclusion that it was an obvious parody.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , ,