Many New Orleans Saints fans were in disbelief after hearing quarterback Drew Brees was paralyzed after getting into a horrendous car accident that broke both his legs, but those who were truly skeptical about the claim have turned out to be right. The 34-year-old athlete is just the latest victim of a viral Internet hoax that circulated recently.
The bogus claim is believed to have begun with Global Associated News, which is notorious for its role in celebrity death hoaxes. According to its false article: “A spokesperson for the New Orleans highway safety authority (HSA) has confirmed that Drew Brees has broken both of his legs in a traffic altercation. He has been transported via ambulance to a local New Orleans hospital for treatment, and the full extent of his injuries are not known at this time, however, both of his legs were visibly broken and not life threatening according to sources.”
The bogus story about Brees even detailed the nonexistent accident: “The accident involved a 2012 BMW driven by Drew Brees and a 76 year old female driver in a 2010 Audi. The driver of the Audi was issued a citation for failing to stop at a red light before striking the vehicle driven by Drew Brees at a high rate of speed.”
Brees joins a long list of celebrities who have been subjects of online hoaxes. It includes but is certainly not limited to Jim Carrey, Jackie Chan, Chumlee from “Pawn Stars,” Bill Cosby, Tony Danza, Morgan Freeman, Steve Irwin’s daughter Bindi Irwin, Eddie Murphy, Ted Nugent, Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Adam Sandler.
Hundreds of fans took to Twitter to see whether the star athlete was OK. Brees reassured them as follows:
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I am fine. Not sure where the car accident story came from. It is not true. I appreciate everyone’s concern but I am ALL GOOD!
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) June 21, 2013