If you believe the internet, Chris Wood meowed at Kurt Zouma during Newcastle United’s 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday.
The ‘story’ went viral over the weekend, so much so that it is now being reported as ‘news’.
The ‘story’ hasn’t been verified by anyone reputable. Instead, it originated from an alleged ‘in the know’ account that regularly gets things wrong about Newcastle United on a daily basis. Perhaps he’s in on the joke, but this made-up story has captured the nation’s imagination.
Despite the source, the social media rumour mill has gone into overdrive, branding Wood a ‘legend’ for what he ‘did’ to the West Ham defender.
The Frenchman is currently under fire after a video emerged of him kicking his cat. Despite the video, Hammers boss David Moyes has kept Zouma in his starting XI.
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Newcastle fans mocked Zouma relentlessly on Saturday, aiming chants his way whilst inflatable cats took up residency in the away end. That is true. You could see the toy cats and hear the chants on television.
But the claim about Wood is pure fiction.
Why let the truth get in the way of a funny story?
Following the game, Toon fan Sean Casey posted on Twitter that Hammers defender Craig Dawson complained to the referee about Wood ‘meowing’ at Zouma. It was so farfetched that it obviously wasn’t true, even before you looked at the source of the story.
It’s bad enough that Twitter latched on to it, but now Sky Sports are covering it.
During their Ref Watch show on Monday morning, Dermot Gallagher and co discussed the viral story of the weekend.
This is Sky Sports News. They’re meant to be one of the most reputable new outlets going. Yet here they are discussing something that went viral on Twitter without any validation. It’s frightening.
The age of misinformation and fake news continues. If it’s funny enough, people will believe it…