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Fact check: Claim that Super Bowl champions refused White House invitation likely stems from satire

NFL Football - Super Bowl LV - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Kansas City Chiefs - Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, U.S. - February 7, 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after winning the Super Bowl LV REUTERS/Eve Edelheit

After the White House announced President Joe Biden will invite the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the White House on Monday, February 8, posts circulating on social media made the claim that the 2021 Super Bowl champions had “refused” this invitation. This is false: Reuters found no credible evidence that the team refused the invite as of this article’s publication, and the allegation most likely stems from a satirical article.

A Facebook post here shared over 2,181 times reads: “Super Bowl Champions refuse invitation to WH, claim the WH was STOLEN. OK GOOD, SO I'M NOT CRAZY (laughing crying emoji)”. Other posts are visible here and here .

The wording used in this posts is similar to the headline from a satirical article taterforceone.com/superbowl/ entitled “Superbowl Champions Refuse Invitation to ‘Stolen’ White House” and published by the website Tater Force One, part of the “parody, satire, and tomfoolery” network “America’s Last Line of Defense” ( taterforceone.com/about-us/ ). In its About Us section, the page states that “everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined.”

On Feb. 8, the White House said President Joe Biden would invite the Super Bowl LV champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and last season’s NBA champions, the L.A. Lakers to the White House once it is safe to do so because of COVID-19 restrictions ( here ).

Reuters found no credible news reports saying the Buccaneers refused the White House’s invitation as of Tuesday, February 9. This kind of statement would have been widely reported by the media, similarly to when athletes refused to visit the White House for political reasons in the past ( here , here , here ).

The Buccaneers Communications team did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

VERDICT

False. The claim that “Superbowl champions refused invitation” to the White House stems from an article intended as satire.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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