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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke July 24, 2023

Unfounded claims blaming COVID vaccine for ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop’s recent collapse spread online

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  • We found no evidence to support the claim that the recent on-air collapse of ESPN soccer analyst Shaka Hislop was connected to a COVID-19 vaccine.

ESPN soccer analyst Shaka Hislop collapsed on air before a July 23 match between Real Madrid and AC Milan. 

But we found no evidence to support claims that the episode was connected to COVID-19 vaccines, as some social media posts have suggested. 

"Ex Newcastle Utd star Shaka Hislop working for ESPN collapses on live TV," a July 24 tweet said, referring to the Newcastle United soccer team for which Hislop once played. "He’s now in stable condition. This is not normal. Government and health officials need an urgent investigation into why this is happening & excess mortality levels. They don’t because the answer will mean a lot of power people end up in jail."

The tweet uses emoji for a red rotating light emoji and a syringe and shows a video clip of Hislop collapsing.

ESPN did not immediately respond to PolitiFact’s questions about Hislop. 

ESPN commentator Adrian Healey said during a broadcast of the match that Hislop was "OK" and had "recovered," The Athletic reported.

Hislop’s colleague, Dan Thomas, also gave this update during the game’s halftime: "He’s conscious. He’s talking. I think he’s embarrassed about it all."

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Thomas added that it was "far too early to make any sort of diagnosis, but the important thing is that Shaka is conscious" and that he had spoken to "Shaka’s wife and things are looking OK."

Hislop is vaccinated against COVID-19. In an August 2021 video posted on the Newcastle City Council’s Facebook page, he urged people to "go and get vaccinated." 

"I got mine months ago, and I feel so much better for it," Hislop said.

Looking for news reports or other credible sources connecting this vaccination to his recent collapse, we found only speculation. 

That’s not enough to support such a dramatic claim. If evidence does emerge linking what happened to Hislop on July 23 and his COVID-19 shots, we’ll reconsider this ruling. 

For now, it’s False.


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Unfounded claims blaming COVID vaccine for ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop’s recent collapse spread online

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