Jeff Gordon is gay and now in a relationship with openly gay NASCAR driver Stephen Rhodes, a viral hoax claims.
The story of the popular NASCAR driver's reported coming out spread across the internet early this week thanks to a news story from a site called Empire Sports. The story claimed that Jeff Gordon had come out as gay, following in the footsteps of NBA player Jason Collins and soon-to-be NFL player Michael Sam.
The story claimed:
As if the sports world didn't have enough people coming out of the closet. A highly respected member of the NASCAR community has come out and admitted he is in a relationship with a fellow openly gay NASCAR member. Jeff Gordon who is going through a divorce said that he is now dating openly gay driver Stephen Rhodes. Gordon joins a list of male athletes who are new to the openly gay sports world.The story went on to claim that many NASCAR fans were aghast at learning the Jeff Gordon was gay.
"There ain't no room for that queer crap in NASCAR. This is a man sport that only straight men should be doing," the story quoted Billy-Bob Benson, a former Jeff Gordon fan. "These queers need to go back and pray that god forgives them for the choice they made. If they wanna be gay go be a fashion designer and not ruin the greatest sport in the world!"
The problem is that the story is an outright hoax. The site Empire Sports is openly satirical, with a bend toward stories about gay athletes. Other headlines on the site read "Tom Brady Gets Caught with Naked Pictures of Himself" and "Tony Romo And Jason Witten Admit To Homosexual Romance."
There is at least a kernel of truth to the Jeff Gordon gay story, however. Stephen Rhodes is indeed an openly gay driver, a first for NASCAR,