An article from a satire news site says that Blake Griffin, the forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, smacked singer Justin Bieber at a Hollywood Starbucks.
“Witnesses at the scene reported that Griffin tried to calm Bieber but the Biebs wasn’t having any of it. There was more yelling, and some pushing and that’s when Griffin smacked Bieber, knocking him to the floor,” the article said.
The crudely written article was published on Empire Sports, which only has fake sports news. It was shared hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook over the past week–with many believing it.
“We report on current events in sports. Sometimes we report on news that has yet to happen. Sometimes we report things we just WISH would happen,” the webiste’s disclaimer reads. “If you don’t like us, we don’t like you and, if you are a sports celebrity, we’ll probably send some goons to bust your knee caps in our next article.”
It continues: “Either way, we hope you bookmark our page and come back to see what kind of trouble we get in to next.”
A few days later, Empire Sports attempted to gain more traction on the fake report by publishing another article saying that it has “leaked photos” of a black eye that Bieber suffered.
In debunking the hoax, Gossip Cop cited a source close to Bieber as saying that the singer hasn’t been in Los Angeles a while, saying the Empire Sports article is completely false. The source said the rumor is “made up,” adding that “Justin has not returned to Los Angeles [for weeks].”
Deadspin reported that the Clippers did not deny that Griffin hit Bieber. The website said that its reporters attempted to reach out to the team. “After two rounds of emails and a mildly testy follow-on, though, all of which made clear that our sole interest was in debunking a ridiculous story, we haven’t heard back,” the website said.
On Sunday, Twitter and Facebook was still abuzz over the satire article.
One wrote on Twitter: “Blake griffin smacked justin bieber. my bb.”
“Just found out that blake griffin [expletive] slapped justin bieber at a starbucks,” tweeted another.