Update: 12/13/2018 5:55 p.m
Steph Curry said he was just “joking” about the Apollo moon landing being fake, following backlash online and from NASA, Fast Company reports.
The space agency invited the NBA champion to its Houston location as proof the moon landing was real by showing him moon rocks.
“We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo mission control,” Allard Beutel, NASA spokesperson, told the New York Times. “During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.”
Astronaut Scott Kelly called Curry out on Twitter on Monday about his initial comments.
Steph, so much respect for you, but re the moon landing thing, let’s talk. DM me. https://t.co/BXYxPF4zz1
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) December 11, 2018
On Wednesday, the Golden State Warriors player told ESPN that he was “silently protesting” when the story spread.
“Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast. [Then] I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, ‘Oh my God, he’s a fake-moon-landing truther,’ whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada. So I was silently protesting that part about it, how the story took a life of its own.”
The two-time NBA champion shared his moon landing conspiracy theory on Winging It, a podcast hosted by Atlanta Hawks Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore along with Annie Finberg.
The Apollo 11 spacecraft delivered the first astronauts to the moon’s surface nearly 60 years ago. According to the Washington Post, the “moon landing hoax” was one of the first conspiracy theories to be embraced by the American public. Despite several other trips to the moon and NASA putting the Insight Lander on Mars last week, people still don’t believe space travel is possible.
During the segment, Steph Curry asked the room, “We ever been to the moon?”
Multiple people replied, “Nope.”
“They’re gonna come get us. I don’t think so, either,” the Warriors star said after they expressed support of the conspiracy theory.
When Finberg asked Curry if he genuinely believed the moon landing conspiracy, he responded affirmatively.
Curry isn’t the first NBA player to share his support of a conspiracy theory. In February 2017, Celtics star Kyrie Irving questioned whether the Earth is flat on the Road Trippin’ with RJ & Channing podcast.
“The Earth is flat. I think about it from just a, not even a scientific way, but the way I travel and how I get around and also the tons and tons of research that supports that theory,” Irving said. “I think you should go look it up. Before I tell you, I think you should go look it up.”
After some backlash from the public including a number of science teachers, Irving doubled down on his opinion later that year. He ultimately apologized for spreading flat-Earth comments in October.
Curry has yet to clarify if his comment was a joke or if he actually doubts the moon landing happened.