U.S. media spreads fake video showing Raptors fans cheering Durant injury
Toronto residents are livid right now with a popular American sports blog for presenting some three-year-old, doctored YouTube footage as a reaction shot of Raptors fans cheering over Kevin Durant's injury during Game 5.
The melee started Tuesday afternoon when Barstool Sports tweeted out a clip of what looked like hundreds of people in a busy bar jumping up and down.
A giant screen at the front of the bar is seen projecting The NBA Finals — specifically the moment when Durant when down with an apparent injury to his Achilles tendon on Monday night.
"Toronto bar reacts to Kevin Durant's injury," reads the tweet including the video, which has now been seen over 1.5 million times.
Toronto bar reacts to Kevin Durant’s injury pic.twitter.com/4oWqlcuv3S— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 11, 2019
Fans from Toronto and elsewhere were quick to call out the clip as fake. I mean, it's fake — we've seen around the internet before in other contexts.
The original clip comes from a YouTube video of soccer (sorry, football) fans at Ashton Gate Stadium in England celebrating.
But, there are also just so many tells, from the bright light streaming through the windows (at what was supposed to be nearly 10 p.m. on a rainy night in Toronto) to the obvious English flags.
Also, the superimposed video bounces around, and is much higher in resolution than footage of the fans watching it.
Definitely Fake - Lots of clues. Looks like a world cup goal in England several years ago because of ashtrays and lack of smartphones pic.twitter.com/A66aUEEERh— Alex_Ari (@Alex_Ari) June 11, 2019
In a cheeky post on its website, Barstool poked fun at the backlash, writing that "Toronto fans need to just own this already."
"Durant got hurt. Canada went wild. The proof is right here," wrote the website's founder, David Portnoy. "I mean what advantage would Barstool get from doctoring this well known meme and posting it? Just for a laugh or a few million clicks? Get out of here."
It is not clear if whoever originally tweeted the video from Barstool's Twitter account knew it was fake, but Portnoy certainly does right now and — as the British would say — he's taking the p*ss.
Hey idiot I already explained this. The Toronto Tavern has light enhancing windows. Pay attention. There are literally 100’s of people who confirmed being at Triple T’s last night saying this happened. https://t.co/gsyoziLaOj— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 11, 2019
"So yesterday we posted this footage from The Toronto Tavern during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. As everybody can clearly see the place went nuts when Durant got hurt," wrote Portnoy in a follow-up post on his website Wednesday.
"Sure it was rude and disrespectful, but I get it. It's the NBA Finals. Toronto fans got caught up in the moment. Just apologize and move on right? Wrong," he continued.
"Instead the entire city of Toronto has essentially turned into conspiracy theorists saying the video footage was altered to make them look bad."
Barstool has now even gone so far as to create a fake Twitter account for a fictional bar called "The Toronto Tavern," just to troll the people who are still getting upset over the fake video.
Nice try. It’s been confirmed. It’s The Toronto Tavern in downtown Toronto, dozens of people in this very thread were there that night! Very ugly for you to call me stupid, but I will forgive you (very big of me to do that btw).— James (@beardownjames19) June 12, 2019
The entire thing is pretty funny — or would be, if so many Torontonians weren't falling for the joke.
Local sports reporter and recent Simpsons guest star Lucas Meyer put it best in a tweet this morning.
"ATTN #Raptors fans / anyone getting incensed about Barstool story of bar cheering Durant's injury: You're being trolled," he wrote. "Barstool knows its fake. Toronto Tavern/Triple Ts doesn't exist. Its Twitter account was just created and is only following Barstool people."
"It's clear some fans in the arena, outside, in bars did cheer the injury and that's horrible. It doesn't represent most fans, but we need to call that garbage out when we see it," he continued. "But as for that video, don't give it oxygen."
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