A false rumor saying Michael Vick broke his legs in a car crash triggered a Twitter response from the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback this week and apparently, teammates LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson called Vick about it.
The “report” is from fake news generator Global Associated News, which commonly spreads viral death and car accident hoaxes.
“LeSean (McCoy) and DeSean (Jackson) called me first to make sure I was OK,” Vick told NJ.com. “Nobody really believed it, but everybody just called to make sure it was a hoax. It was weird.”
Vick said that he woke up to the report, adding that he isn’t sure why the story is trending again.
Vick added that the hoax is “an old story. That surfaced last year.”
The Global Associated News article, which has tens of thousands of “likes” on Facebook, states: “A spokesperson for the Philadelphia highway safety authority (HSA) has confirmed that Michael Vick has broken both of his legs in a traffic altercation.” At the bottom of the article, it reads: “FAKE… THIS STORY IS 100% FAKE! this is an entertainment website, and this is a totally fake article based on zero truth and is a complete work of fiction for entertainment purposes! this story was dynamically generated using a generic ‘template’ and is not factual.”
However, a large number of Twitter users retweeted the hoax. “Hope all is well Michael Vick, this is crazy! This car got ripped in 2 smh,” wrote one person.
Vick responded to the hoax on Monday.“I don’t know where these rumors start but I’m doing great. No accident or broken legs. Thanks for the concerns! #BleedGreen #Blessed,” he wrote.
The Global Associated News has published false car crash rumors about Green Back Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Other celebrities who have been targeted include Jared Leto, Denzel Washington, Justin Bieber, and others.
The New York Times reported several years ago that the website is owned by a man named Rich Hoover.
Hoover told the publication that he gets some advertisement revenue when the stories go viral.
“I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some twisted sense of satisfaction or accomplishment,” he said.