Josh Selby: A Hastily-Made Athlete Gay Rumor, Deconstructed

  • Dan Fogarty

Okay, so here’s what we’ve got: a crudely-made blog post with screenshots of emails, which the blog in question says are from NBA rookie Josh Selby, but could be from anyone. The emails are a correspondence between the probably-fake Selby and some guy on Twitter, and a hotel rendezvous looks to be in the early planning stages. There are photos of a shirtless Selby attached to the emails, which don’t mean anything, but I guess are there to get you in the mood.

As rumors go it’s a weak one, and there are about 10 different holes in it. But it’s a good case study in hastily put-together gay panic. Here’s what happened.

* The initial email was posted on something called is inaccessible at the moment, probably from all of the traffic their gay rumor has brought them.

* That post was picked up by MediaTakeout, which is where it got its legs. For the uninitiated, MediaTakeout is a gossip site that focuses mostly on black celebrities. A lot of the things they talk about never, ever happened. But their headlines are funny, and if you go there, be warned that it’s entirely possible you get lost in their “Scrip Club” tales and such.

* MediaTakeout posts this sentence from the fake Selby. The absurdity of it is enough to momentarily make you forget that what you are reading has not actually happened.

wassup bruh….heres some pictures of me. don’t show anybody! because im in sports and dont want people to know and plus im just curious not gay bruh.

* Photos are included. They are of Selby, but they could have come from a woman he sent them to who is now angry. This, actually, is Selby’s theory on what happened.

* The emails are dated February 4th, 2011. The Twitter account which fake Selby is encouraged to follow by the guy he’s emailing was created on August 21, 2011, meaning that fake Selby is being encouraged to follow a Twitter account which has not yet been created.

* Selby responds to the rumors on Twitter.

People will do anything or make up anything to bring you to their level. That’s not even my email. #getalife

This, of course, is the most important point: someone (possibly an angry ex) could’ve just created a fake email address, sent an email to a friend with the shirtless photos they still had in their phone, told the friend what to say, and boom, you have your rumor.

So, yes, worst-planned gay rumor ever. But take a stroll through MediaTakeout’s comments section, and you’ll see that it doesn’t matter that it is probably false. There are already people laughing at the real Josh Selby, and he has been “put on that MediaTakeout screen,” a phrase that alludes to an old Jay-Z line. It means that he’s been exposed for something embarrassing in his past. In this case, being gay isn’t the embarrassing thing, it’s the fact that fake Selby said he’s “not gay just curious brah.”

Real Josh Selby hasn’t done any of this, of course, but that doesn’t matter. People like it when athletes get put on that MediaTakeout screen. And when you’re on it, it’s pretty much impossible to get taken off.