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A photoshopped image of a cheered-on NFL player burning the American flag made the rounds on conservative social media pages on Thursday.
The fake picture duped commenters who claimed that professional athletes are showing disrespect to the flag, veterans, and the country.
BuzzFeed 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 fact that the sprinklers aren't going off tells you this is fake— the other rocket man (@SadFndngFathers) September 29, 2017
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.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.