An Award-winning Journalist Lied About Interviewing Colin Kaepernick's Parents
Der Spiegel is basically The New York Times of Germany. They're Europe's largest news magazine, and famous for investigative journalism. It was quite the scandal, then, when one of their award-winning journalists, Claas Relotius, was exposed as a giant fraud.
Over the years, Relotius published many an article filled with fabrications, made-up people, and fake sources. One of those articles was a piece about American football player Colin Kaepernick's anti-racism activism. Kaepernick made headlines all over the world for kneeling in protest during the national anthem at games, so it wasn't a surprise that Relotius would want in.
He waxed lyrical about experiencing the magic of Kaepernick, finding meaning even in his pauses, which were apparently "like one who knows the truth but does not dare pronounce it." Later in the article, he describes speaking to Kaepernick's parents. "They were reluctant to talk on the phone about their son, they did not want to cause him any problems, they say, but they also want people to understand him." It would have been beautiful ... if any of it were true.
Krd/Wikimedia CommonsDespite speaking on her behalf, we're like 90% sure that this isn't Teresa Kaepernick.
When an investigation was launched to verify his account, Relotius vehemently denied claims that he had made it all up, only to later admit that he never spoke to Kaepernick's parents. He's also never met Kaepernick. When confronted with these fabrications, as well as countless others, Relotius said he was mentally ill, and all the forging was a result of his fear of failing. Given that he's now facing embezzlement charges for allegedly asking readers to pay money into his personal bank account as donations to Syrian orphans, it's hard to feel sorry for a guy who, at the end of the day, just wanted all the awards.
Reporters Are Constantly Mixing Up Celebrities Of Color
Remember that time Samuel L. Jackson piled on anchor Sam Rubin for confusing him with Laurence Fishburne? This happens to nonwhite celebrities all the time. Here's the Emmys Twitter account confusing Terrence Howard for Cuba Gooding Jr. in 2016: