CNN, MSNBC Invite on Former Football Player With History of Peddling Conspiracy Theories

Former Redskins wide receiver Donte Stallworth / Getty
September 25, 2017

Several major cable news networks invited former football player Donté Stallworth to appear on their shows, despite his history of peddling conspiracy theories.

Stallworth made a series of television appearances Monday to provide his opinion on the weekend's controversy over football players' protests. On Friday, President Donald Trump enflamed tempers  when he told a crowded rally that players like quarterback Colin Kaepernick who kneel as a form of protest during the national anthem should be fired. Trump's criticism prompted numerous players to kneel with Kaepernick on Sunday.

Stallworth, a ten-season wide receiver, appeared on at least three cable news shows on Monday. Early in the morning, he put in an appearance on CNN's "New Day"; later, he showed up on MSNBC's "Live with Craig Melvin"; and, lastly, he joined CNBC's "Closing Bell." He shared a variety of opinions, including claiming that the real "disrespect" was American policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"That's one of the more interesting topics that has kind of been brought out of this whole conversation, the fact that this is a disrespect towards the military," Stallworth said on MSNBC "Live." "What's actually disrespectful towards the military and our service members is going into Iraq under the false pretense of WMDs, destroying a country, thousands of dead Americans, millions of displaced people, and then we're in Afghanistan. There is no effective, coherent strategy. We've been there for 16 years. To me, that's much more disrespectful."

What all of his mainstream media hosts failed to mention was Stallworth's history of strange beliefs.

Stallworth has a history of September 11th "trutherism," having suggested in 2009 that the attacks on the Twin Towers were not overseen by Osama bin Laden, and that people were foolish to believe that the Pentagon had actually been struck by a plane. He also referenced a 9/11 conspiracy theory in a 2013 tweet, joking about a BBC reporter who seemed to have reported the fall of building 7 before it happened.

Stallworth did subsequently renounce his 9/11 tweets in 2014, after his new position as a writer at HuffPost drew attention to his views.

Stallworth also has propounded a strange conspiracy theory about the vaccine for the H1N1 avian flu virus. In 2009, he shared an article suggesting that vaccines might be secretly "biological weapons."

In 2013, Stallworth wrote a series of tweets in which he seemed to imply that "they" don't want people to know about something tying together Baxter International, the vaccine supplier, and the Bush administration.

Stallworth does not appear to have publicly changed his views on the H1N1 vaccine.

Published under: CNN , Football , MSNBC