Way back in 2007, Sherri Shepherd caused no end of head-shaking and eye-rolling when the then-co-host of “The View” declared the Earth was not round, but flat.
Despite centuries’ worth of scientific research providing evidence to the contrary, Shepherd apparently has a fellow believer: Cleveland Cavaliers’ all-star Kyrie Irving, who shared his thoughts during an appearance on an NBA podcast back in February 2017.
“This is not even a conspiracy theory,” Irving said. “The Earth is flat.”
“It’s right in front of our faces. I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces,” declared Irving. “They lie to us.”
He added: “What I’ve been taught is that the Earth is round. But if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that, can you really think of us rotating around the sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets? I think you should go look it up. Before I tell you, I think you should go look it up.”
And he had more to say: “There is no concrete information except for the information that they’re giving us. They’re particularly putting you in the direction of what to believe and what not to believe. The truth is right there, you just got to go searching for it.”
During a subsequent interview with ESPN’s Arash Markazi, he continued to share his belief in a pancake-shaped home planet. “I think people should do their own research, man,” Irving said. “Hopefully they’ll either back my belief or they’ll throw it in the water. But I think it’s interesting for people to find out on their own.”
He told Markazi: “I’ve seen a lot of things that my educational system has said that was real that turned out to be completely fake. I don’t mind going against the grain in terms of my thoughts.”
As it turns out, Irving also has a theory that everything we know about dinosaurs is, to borrow a phrase from the Trump administration, “alternative facts.”
Following a rash of headlines that resulted from Irving’s contention, Irving found himself besieged by questions from reporters during the NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans, reported Associated Press.
“Out of all the podcast, that’s what you took out of it, the flat Earth?” Irving asked reporters who wanted to know if he genuinely believes that. “The fact that it’s a social phenomenon, that Kyrie thinks the world is flat, is hilarious. … Does it matter to you that I believe the world is flat?”
Irving received some support from Golden State’s Draymond Green, who defended Irving’s right to express his belief. “It’s just his opinion,” said Green. “It’s hard to call someone’s opinions crazy. That’s what he thinks.”
Told that photographic evidence proves the Earth is round, Green replied: “Who’s to say that picture is telling the truth? … I’m not saying I think it’s flat. I don’t know. But it could be.”
Irving’s Cavaliers teammate LeBron James was amused by the whole thing, yelling to Irving during his interview: “Kyrie, the Earth is flat, right?”
Replied Irving: “Yeah.”
“That’s news,” said James. “So there we go.”
Now, more than a year and a half later, Irving is apologizing for his remarks, explaining he was digging deep into conspiracy theories at the time.
“Even if you believe in that, don’t come out and say that stuff. That’s for intimate conversations because perception and how you’re received, it changes. I’m actually a smart-ass individual,” he said during an appearance at the Forbes Under-30 Summit in Boston.
“At the time I didn’t realize the effect” his words would have on other people. “I was definitely at that time, ‘I’m a big conspiracy theorist. You can’t tell me anything.’ I’m sorry about all that. For all the science teachers, everybody coming up to me like, ‘You know I have to reteach my whole curriculum!’ I’m sorry. I apologize. I apologize.” Watch: