Defensive end Michael Bennett leads the team in the now-traditional post-victory dance in the locker room.

Photo via Rod Mar/Seattle Seahawks

Fake photo of NFL star burning American flag spreads on social media

It's an obvious Photoshop job.


Kris Seavers


Published Sep 29, 2017   Updated Sep 29, 2017, 1:43 pm CDT

A photoshopped image of a cheered-on NFL player burning the American flag made the rounds on conservative social media pages on Thursday.

Photoshopped athletes burning flagThe fake picture duped commenters who claimed that professional athletes are showing disrespect to the flag, veterans, and the country.  

Vets for Trump commentsBuzzFeed News reported that the original photo, which has been photoshopped, appears to be taken from the Seattle Seahawks website. The original photo, shot by Rod Mar in 2015, shows defensive end Michael Bennett leading his team in a victory dance.

At least one other clue that the photo is a fake? A fire would have set off the sprinklers in the locker room.

The appearance of the photoshopped image follows a week of national debate over athletes kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events—an action that began as a silent protest against racism that has now been conflated with disrespecting the flag.

President Donald Trump said Saturday that NFL owners should fire any “son of a bitch” that kneeled during the national anthem, referring to Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback kneeled last year to protest against police brutality toward minorities.

After Trump’s comments last weekend, players, coaches and team owners asserted their right to protest by kneeling, linking arms, or sitting in the locker rooms during the national anthem. Trump continued to tweet about the silent protests, falsely equating it to being disrespectful to the flag and veterans, with his supporters also asserting the same across social media.   

Meanwhile, users posted the hashtags #VetsForKaepernick and #TaketheKnee to show their support for the athletes and their protests against racism.

H/T BuzzFeed News

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*First Published: Sep 29, 2017, 1:41 pm CDT