A satircal site called Empire Sports fooled plenty of people this week when it posted a story this week with the headline: 'Jeff Gordon And Stephen Rhodes Confirm Homosexual Relationship; NASCAR Fans Outraged.'
The four paragraph story stated in part: Jeff Gordon who is going through a divorce said that he is now dating openly gay driver Stephen Rhodes. Gordon joins a list of male athletes who are new to the openly gay sports world. We are unable to get a comment from Gordon or Rhodes on this news of their relationship but it is 100% confirmed by them both.
Rhodes is openly gay but Gordon is married to a woman and the father of two children.
Quickly more than 800 readers posted in the comments section, many of them supportive.
'So what if he is gay?' wrote another female fan. 'Who cares? Some people need to grow up and accept that there are gay people in this world and they can choose whatever profession to do that they want, provided they are qualified.'
Another fan wrote: 'It's his choice and his personal life and it has nothing to do with how he races. That is horrible for fans to judge him he's still the same person people can be so mean.'
But plenty of other readers who bought into the gag quickly began with insults and name calling.
'Knew he was fag all along,' wrote one reader.
Another wrote: 'Looks like the rainbow fag finally come out of the closet I always figured he was in there somewhere the author of the story must be a fag anybody who thinks being gay is okay has to be one themselves I hope no more of them come out are coming to NASCAR.'
Then there were those who refrained from using anti-gay slurs but nevertheless disapproved: 'IF they are, they need prayer, not criticism. God will have to enter their lives to change them, that's all I can say.'
One male fan did not engage in any name calling but wrote: 'Funny this isn't in the Daytona paper. If I were Jeff Gordon I would sue the heck out of this paper. I don't believe it.'
Still, plenty of readers realized they were dealing with satire and ridiculed those who fell for the story.
Wrote one: 'Everyone does realize this is a Satire Website!?!?!?! It's not a real story! It's supposed to be very absurd, and to be found funny!!! Now everyone getting the panties in a bunch over Nascar! LOL!!! Come on people! Is this truly what the world is coming to, we're not smart enough to research a websites platform?? IT'S FAKE!!!!!!!