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Jason Asenso
By Jason Asenso July 28, 2021

Patrick Mahomes isn’t refusing to play over the Kansas City Chiefs’ name

If Your Time is short

  • The claim came from a known parody account. It’s not true.

A Facebook image claimed that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes won’t play until the team changes its name.

The July 25 post said, "Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has left training camp and says he will ‘not play another down in the NFL’ until the team changes their name."

This is not true.

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.)

The image on Facebook was of a tweet posted by a parody Twitter account, known to tweet out fake sports news. This account has impersonated other sports writers before and tweeted out falsehoods that have even fooled sports journalists, with one alleging that a football player wouldn’t listen to advice from his teammate since the teammate supported former President Donald Trump.

In a reply to the original tweet about Mahomes, the author then fabricated a quote purportedly from a press conference where Mahomes said he was disgusted with himself for playing on a team with a racist name.

The link to the press conference led to a parody video.A few days later the same account referred to this tweet and said, "Reminder that a large majority of the people who fell for this tweet are allowed to vote."

Mahomes led the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV in 2020, and signed a historic $503 million contract later that year.

Featured Fact-check

The Chiefs are named after former mayor of Kansas City, Mo., Harold Roe Bartle, who was nicknamed "Chief" and helped persuade the team’s owner to move the team from Dallas to Kansas City in 1963. But they and other sports teams at all levels have come under pressure to stop using Native American names, mascots and other imagery.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws the ball during practice June 3, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP)

Chiefs President Mark Donovan said at a July 26 news conference that the Chiefs would keep their name. The Chiefs have been collaborating for over seven years with the American Indian Working Group to "gain a better understanding of issues for ourselves, while identifying ways to create an awareness and understanding of American Indian cultures," according to the team’s website.

The news conference came days after baseball’s Cleveland Indians officially announced that they would be renamed the Cleveland Guardians. In response to racial justice protests last summer, the NFL’s Washington franchise adopted the name Washington Football Team until it could settle on a new one .

Our ruling

A Facebook post said that Mahomes left training camp and would ‘not play another down in the NFL’ until the team changes its name.

That’s not true. The tweet shown in the post came from a parody account.

In subsequent tweets, the author implied it was a joke and linked to a parody video.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

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More by Jason Asenso

Patrick Mahomes isn’t refusing to play over the Kansas City Chiefs’ name

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