"You may have seen there are quite a lot of fake news stories operating on Facebook"
England rugby star James Haskell is alive and well. No really, he’s doing just fine, thank you.
The fact that the 31-year-old flanker is carrying on as normal shouldn’t be news but it is. That’s because an unsubstantiated rumor began circulating and gaining so much traction that Haskell turned directly to his own YouTube channel to clear things up.
"You may have seen there are quite a lot of fake news stories operating on Facebook,” he said in the clip literally entitled “I Am Not Dead,” calling rumors about his well-being nothing more than cheap “clickbait.”
Part of the momentum for the rumors is that Haskell is actually recovering from a foot injury, which has him temporarily sidelined.
"So rest assured I'm not dead, I'm not disgraced and for those of you a little bit skeptical - we get drug tested all the time,” he said.
In the video, he goes over a list of the fake stories that have been shared across social media about him: a steroid overdose, a drug overdose, that he himself is a drug dealer or that he’s quit the sport because of family problems.
"So just to make sure this is very clear: This is absolute rubbish,” he said.
But he was at least able to find some humor in the whole debacle, noting that he’s in good company:
"Actually I feel pretty humble because the [same websites] use Tom Brady, a famous NFL player, and J.J. Watt, another famous NFL player. … For those of you that wish I was dead, better luck next time.”