FACT CHECK: Did Denver Broncos GM John Elway Say, ‘Kneel On My Field And You’re Fired On The Spot’?
An image shared on Facebook claims Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway said, “Kneel on my field and you’re fired on the spot.”
There is no evidence Elway said the statement. The claim originated on a parody news website.
The image being shared appears to be a screen grab of an article written by someone named Flagg Eagleton. Websites such as the Conservative Republic and Prep-101.com have also published stories making the same claim in recent weeks.
“John Elway Lays Down The Law: ‘Kneel On My Field And You’re Fired On The Spot,'” the headlines in the image and the articles read. (RELATED: Did NASCAR Ban Make America Great Again Hats At Its Events?)
The claim started circulating on social media after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a video statement that the league believes “black lives matter.” His announcement came amid protests against racial injustice and police brutality that were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in late May.
But there is no evidence Elway said the quote attributed to him in the Facebook post. Had Elway made such a statement, it would have been picked up by major media outlets, yet none have done so, except to debunk the claim.
The claim appears to have originated with an article published on Potatriots Unite, a parody news website that describes itself as part of a network that publishes “parody, satire, and tomfoolery.” Yet, while Potatriots Unite makes the satirical nature of its content clear, the Facebook post fails to do so, portraying the story as genuine.
Elway did say in 2017 that he believed in standing for the national anthem, according to Bleacher Report. However, he tweeted a statement on June 6 expressing support for players “using their platform and influence in a positive way to create change.”
After a lot of listening, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and felt it was time to join this important conversation. pic.twitter.com/2ncnFvmq33
— John Elway (@johnelway) June 6, 2020
“I am not going to stay on the sidelines,” Elway wrote in the statement. “Everyone has a responsibility to help those who are hurting. I am joining with the players, coaches and our organization in speaking up against racism, police brutality and any injustice against the black community.”