There is a photo of Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett circulating on Facebook and going viral, purportedly showing him celebrating in the locker room and burning a U.S. flag. As seen below, the photo was posted to the Facebook page named “Vets for Trump,” along with the claim that the Seattle Seahawks flag-burning meant “no more NFL” for the poster. Since being posted to the “Vets for Trump” Facebook page, the fake flag-burning photo has been shared 7,000 times. Although some people commenting beneath the Facebook photo recognize it as a fake photo, others are writing comments expressing outrage not fit to republish.
As reported by Time, the fake photo appeared at a time when President Donald Trump waged war against NFL players who chose to protest racism and police brutality during the national anthem. The Photoshop-altered photo appears an attempt to ramp up rage over the flag by depicting an NFL player who has been in the news recently appearing to burn the flag directly inside the Seahawks’ locker room. However, such an outrageous image — as unbelievable as flag-burning would have been to have occurred in the locker room — is being shared on Facebook and Twitter, appearing to show the Seahawks cheering on the flag burning, along with head coach Pete Carroll.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 4, 2016
The real photo was actually taken from the Seattle Seahawks Twitter page, as seen above. That photo shows Bennett in the locker room doing a victory dance. The original photo was posted to the official Twitter page of the Seahawks on January 3, 2016. It has received more than 1,000 Twitter likes and has been retweeted hundreds of times. The original photo shows Bennett in the center of the room, shirtless and celebrating.
The fake photo uses the majority of the scene from the original image, except it was altered to include a flag pole in Michael’s right hand and a burning U.S. flag hanging from the pole. It’s not clear who altered the original photo from the Seattle Seahawks’ official Twitter account, but it is clear that the flag-burning fake photo is getting plenty of attention online.
As of this writing, the fake flag-burning photo is still live on the “Vets for Trump” Facebook page.
[Featured Image by Abid Katib/Getty Images]