On Aug. 23, 2023, SpaceXMania published an article claiming the the Olympics' governing body, the International Olympic Committee, banned former U.S. women's national team soccer player Megan Rapinoe from participating in any future games:
“She’s A Troublemaker”: Olympic Committee Bans Megan Rapinoe For Life
In a surprising turn of events, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made a bold decision to ban Megan Rapinoe, the outspoken soccer star, from participating in any future Olympic Games. This comes as a shock to many, as Rapinoe has been a prominent figure in the sports world, known for her activism and strong opinions. The move raises questions about the line between an athlete’s right to free speech and the responsibility that comes with representing their country on an international stage.
Weeks later, in October 2023, the story was shared by the Facebook account associated with SpaceXMania.com, SpaceX Lovers. Comments under that post indicated people seemed to believe the story was real, and some expressed support for the fictional ban by the International Olympic Committee. "Took them long enough," one Facebook user commented.
This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The SpaceXMania article featured a "Satire" label above its headline, and the site describes its output as humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:
Please note that the article under the category "SATIRE" are satirical in nature and are not meant to be taken seriously. These articles are meant to be humorous and are often entirely made up. We make no claim that the information presented in these articles is true or accurate.
We've previously fact-checked other satirical claims stemming from SpaceXMania about Rapinoe, including an article that claimed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay threw Rapinoe out of one of his restaurants.
For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.