There’s more to Trayvon Martin’s appearance than the media would have you know, a chain email claims.
Martin is the 17-year-old Miami Gardens resident who was shot in February by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. The answer is attached within the email, "Is This Little Trayvon Martin."
Here, Trayvon is bigger and stronger than the boy we’ve seen in the hoodie. This Trayvon has facial hair. He’s inked up from his hands to his neck. His right cheek bears a can’t-miss tattoo -- a red star inset with "LA," in the style of the Los Angeles Dodgers logo.
The email accuses reporters of deceiving the public by suppressing this photo and publishing photos of a younger Trayvon after his death. Then it complains the media won't report the 17-year-old’s disciplinary problems. Actually, the Miami Herald reported his suspensions and getting caught with marijuana and women’s jewelry.
The email ends with a rant about the divisive, liberal agenda of the media.
"They don't show the up-to-date pictures of Trayvon Martin, in the media," the email says. "Now you know why. Kinda scary, ain't it?"
A couple readers asked us to investigate the photo in their inboxes. As we suspected, it’s not Trayvon Martin.
We will note that after Trayvon's death a much younger picture of him provided by the family got a lot of press. But this email goes way off the mark.
This man is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, also known as Game, a 32-year-old rapper from Compton, Calif., near Los Angeles.
Formerly known as The Game, he earned Grammy nominations in 2006 for his collaboration with rapper 50 Cent on "Hate It or Love It."
Game weighed in on the Trayvon Martin controversy in a March 2012 interview with MTV.com: "I'm far from racist. I'm very educated and intellectual and I understand how life works and how people of all colors exist under the sun, but it just seems like more than not black people are, I don't know, there's always some negative occurrence that goes on in our existence. This is just another reminder that stupidity still exists."
As for the right cheek tattoo, it used to be a butterfly. Game concealed it with the Dodgers logo and red star after a lot of criticism. "I’m the face of L.A., so I put L.A. on my face," he once said.
A publicist for the rapper said this picture was probably snapped during a photoshoot with XXL Magazine, though he wasn’t sure when. It’s no matter. We have enough information here to make our ruling.
We rate the chain email Pants on Fire!