Over the weekend, a report purportedly from ABC News suggested that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was giving the state of North Carolina 30 days to repeal its controversial law regarding LGBT protections or else it would lose the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. Here’s a screengrab:
It turns out that this is a carefully crafted hoax, written on a page designed to look like ABC News, because Silver has issued no such ultimatum.
RT @NBAPR No truth to the fake abcnews account/report concerning the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. The NBA has made no new statements re: 2017 ASG
— NBA (@NBA) April 10, 2016
League owners are currently holding their regularly scheduled end-of-season meetings this week. Silver is scheduled to hold a news conference at the meetings’ end on Friday.
“The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events,” the league said in its only official statement on the matter. “We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect, and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.”
Cleveland.com was among the news outlets to report the hoax report as fact, which was acknowledged in an apology Monday by Chris Quinn, the site’s vice president of content. Not only did Cleveland.com write a story about it, but it also combined the news with an AP report.
“We combined it with an Associated Press story about the North Carolina controversy but left the AP byline on what we published,” Quinn wrote. “That made it appear that the Associated Press had been duped by the impostor website. That’s not fair to the Associated Press, a valued partner for cleveland.com.”