Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.
Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- Clark Hunt didn’t say this.
With the news that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes signed the largest sports contract in history, an old Facebook post — shared more than half a million times — is again getting traction.
It shows an image of what purports to be a statement made by Clark Hunt, the team’s chief executive officer and chairman, during a meeting he called with his coaches, players and field staff in 2017.
"You are all simply paid performers on a stage and that field is my stage," the statement says. "You will stand, with your hand over your heart and with respect, when our country’s national anthem is being played or you will no longer be a Kansas City Chief, a coach for the Kansas City Chiefs or have any association with the Chiefs organization. I will immediately fire you, no matter who you are!"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
According to the Kansas City Star, the statement attributed to Clark started circulating in 2016, the year that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem to protest racist oppression. But Hunt told the paper that "it was an internet hoax."
Here’s what Hunt has actually said about anthem protests: "It’s not something where I’ve spoken specifically to the players or any specific player about it. But the entire team knows that our desire is for them to stand during the national anthem."
We rate this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, Sept. 3, 2017
CBS Sports, Samson: Why Patrick Mahomes’ contract worth up to $503 million is not as impressive as it first seems, July 7, 2020
USA Today, Chiefs to sign QB Patrick Mahomes to 10-year contract extension, July 6, 2020
The Kansas City Star, No, Clark Hunt didn’t say this about the anthem … it’s an old debunked rumor, Sept. 7, 2017
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.