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A fake image has been circulating on Twitter in recent days, which claims to be a since-deleted post from Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside, it seems, isn’t happy about it.
Whiteside: ‘I am proud to be from America’
Plenty of athletes took to Twitter during the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, upset with the chaotic performance between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Users started circulating an image during the debate that looked like a tweet from Whiteside’s account that he had sent and deleted.
“I can’t do this for four more years f--k America bro I’m moving to Hawaii,” the tweet read.
Hawaii, obviously, is part of the United States. Fans assumed that Whiteside had deleted the tweet almost instantly upon realizing that fact. And given that it had been sent during one of the worst presidential debates in history, the overall premise of the tweet was believable.
Other users tweeted similar things on Tuesday night, too, and Google searches for “move to Canada” actually spiked significantly about an hour into the debate, according to The New York Post.
Whiteside, however, set the record straight two days later.
The tweet in question, he said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday afternoon, was fake and something he’d never say.
“I need to get serious for a minute because my personal integrity and feelings towards my country are being called into question as a result of a completely false, photoshopped picture of a tweet I never posted,” Whiteside wrote. “What upsets me most is that it reflects exactly the opposite of how I feel about this country.
“I have never and would never say what that tweet said. I am proud to be from America and there is no other place in the world that I want to live.”
Whiteside had already called out the photoshopped tweet on Tuesday night and proved that the timezones from his phone and the tweet in question didn’t match up, but it clearly didn’t stick.
This photoshopped more Fake news i see
It’s not even 9:36 where I’m at pic.twitter.com/x1Cas7ursE
— Hassan Whiteside (@youngwhiteside) September 30, 2020
Whiteside isn’t the first athlete to get blasted for a tweet that he never sent. Former Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson became the target of Ohio State fans after a fake deleted tweet had criticized the Buckeyes and his own coach.
Whiteside, a North Carolina native, just wrapped up his first year in Portland after a five-year stint with the Miami Heat. The 31-year-old averaged 15.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game this season.
Whiteside closed his statement echoing a similar sentiment that athletes across the sports world have been making for months now: Vote.
“One of the greatest things about this country is that we all have an opportunity to make our voices heard through voting, a freedom that doesn’t exist in every single country in the world,” he wrote. “So please, exercise your right and make a point to vote this November.”
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