On September 3, 2018, a number of users posted images on social media that allegedly showed them destroying various Nike-branded garments. The phenomenon was a token form of protest (marked by the hashtag #NikeBoycott on social media) against the clothing giant’s announcement that Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who started the kneeling trend in protest during the broadcast of the national anthem before the game. be the face of their latest ad campaign.
As images of damaged swooshes and burning jerseys started making their way around the internet, a number of viewers came across a set of photographs who allegedly captured a man’s failed attempt at a Nike protest. [NSFW Warning: The following tweets contain an image of two burned feet]:
We’re not sure if Twitter user Phil Braun really set his shoes on fire while wearing them, but we can say he wasn’t injured in the manner depicted in this photo .
The final image, which Braun said was taken during his visit to the hospital, actually showed the badly burned feet of an unidentified patient at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. This photograph has been visible on the Victorian State Trauma System website since at least March 2017, long before the start of the Nike boycott inspired by Kaepernick and Phil Braun allegedly set the feet on fire.
This isn’t Phil Braun’s first flirtation with viral fame. In June 2017, for example, the online comedian posted a video purporting to show him drinking from a bottle of mouthwash after one of his Twitter posts received over 100 retweets:
— Phil Braun (@playazball) June 4, 2017