Thanks to misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers and a former rival, the grieving widow of boxing legend "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler felt the need to clarify that her husband's unexpected death was not caused by a COVID-19 vaccination.
Kay Hagler, the boxer's wife of more than 20 years, released a statement Monday through the same Facebook fan group in which she announced her husband's death. After thanking fans for their love and supportive messages, Hagler denied speculation that the death was caused by COVID-19 vaccine complications, calling such comments "stupid" and "nonsense."
Hagler's reaction read, with the note that she admitted her English isn't perfect:
I was the only person close to him until the last minute, and I am the only person that know how things went not even his family know all the details and I do NOT accept to read some stupid comment without knowing really what happen. For sure wasn't the vaccine that caused his death. My baby left in peace with his usually smile and now is not the time to talk nonsense.
Hagler went on to announce that there will be no funeral because Marvin hated funerals, but she is planning "something special" in accordance with his wishes.
How Marvin Hagler's death turned into an anti-vaccine rallying cry
The death of "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler was announced Saturday, with no cause of death revealed beyond that it was unexpected. It did not take long for reckless speculation to spread.
Much of the speculation was spurred by an Instagram post from Hagler's rival, Thomas Hearns, in which he claimed Hagler had been in the ICU fighting after-effects of the vaccine. Hearns later denounced anti-vaccine messages springing from his post in a different post, which has since been deleted. From The Ring magazine:
“Allow us to have our peace. Our love and respect to Marvin and his family, this is not an anti-vaccine campaign … It’s outrageous to have that in mind during the passing of a King, Legend, Father, Husband and so much more.”
Outlets such as The Daily Mail and Fox News soon passed along Hearns' post to their readers. Other figures, such as former MLB player and known Twitter agitator Aubrey Huff, and rapper R.A. the Rugged Man were also spreading the story. Countless anti-vaccine accounts on Twitter could (and can still be) seen pushing the narrative. Some, such as Huff, compared the situation to the false story of Hank Aaron supposedly dying for the same reason.
Snopes has since deemed the Hagler rumor to be false.
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