Ja Morant claimed he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one and received tons of coverage and reactions from people all over the world. ESPN hoped to ride on that momentum and aired another Morant quote about MJ, saying he would just be another superstar if he played in the current NBA. However, Morant didn’t say those words and ESPN drew flak for falling into fake news.
Fake Ja Morant quote
The Memphis Grizzlies star received criticisms when he said he could beat MJ one-on-one. Morant added that he would pick himself against anyone which was what anyone would expect coming from a rising star. That quote about MJ was true and it was put on record.
People all over the world shared the news and gave reactions to it. It’s safe to say the issue trended. Meanwhile, ESPN, hoping to ride the momentum, aired another Ja Morant claim about Mike, this time, the high-flyer claimed Jordan would be just average in today’s NBA.
It’s another controversial take that would surely make headlines and become trending once again. There’s just one mistake here: Ja Morant didn’t say those words and was debunked by Taylor Rooks and the NBA player himself.
The host of the show which aired Ja Morant’s quote did the right thing which is to apologize to the player and the interviewer.
The dangers of fake news
ESPN just became the poster child for credible sports websites that fall for fake news. It isn’t the first time they republished content from Ballsack Sports. The name of the account says it all. But it reflects how the media and reporters don’t prioritize running source checks anymore. They just aim to publish content as fast as they can. Being first means more clicks, more shared contents, more mentions and more revenues.
It’s good that Morant was cool about everything but it could potentially destroy someone’s career. ESPN’s reputation or any media organization that publishes fake news could also take a hit.
In today’s fast-paced world where algorithms and views dictate revenues, we can expect more instances like this to happen. What we can do is to do our own vetting, check the sources and make sure they are legit. If we all do our job of verifying sources, that’s one less disinformation to worry about