Fact Check

Cheerleader Poops at Football Game?

This cheerleader was unlucky only in becoming the subject of a viral meme due to a Reddit competition.

Published Oct 6, 2014

A photograph captures a cheerleader suffering an unfortunate bout of diarrhea in mid-air as her horrified teammates watch.

An of an unfortunate cheerleader whose picture was snapped in the middle of what looked to be an incredibly poorly timed episode of gastrointestinal distress (along with the reactions of her arguably even less lucky teammates) made the rounds of social media sites in 2014:

This. Is. Hilarious. I mean, so sad. This girl will NEVER EVER be the same. Her reputation is forever tarnished. Because of pooh.

The photograph (without attribution) was widely circulated across meme sharing sites and sports blogs as the real deal. But with few corroborating details attached, many readers were rightly skeptical of the crassly humorous image.

The image (often simply referred to as "cheerleader poops") began to travel across social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accompanied by the usual musings about whether it was real. It didn't take long for a backstory to emerge to explain the image and resolve some of the questions about its plausibility (e.g., the issue of athletic briefs being standard issue attire for cheerleaders, and whether such an accident could occur in their presence).

As it turns out, the image of the cheerleader in red was a digital manipulation, not an authentic one. The original photograph was submitted to the Reddit community's "Photoshop Battles" subreddit (r/photoshopbattles) as a challenge titled "Terrified Cheerleaders," and the viral pic was one of many alterations subsequently applied to the original photograph:

As can be seen in the unaltered image displayed above, the cheerleader shown in the picture was unlucky only in becoming the subject of a meme and did not suffer the fate shown in the viral version of her picture.

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