Now-Retracted Yahoo News Story Links Chris Pratt to Guns and Racists

Pratt’s shirt sparked a few Twitter comments, but the story didn’t turn into much more. (Photo: @hunterharris Twitter)

Hollywood actor and outspoken outdoor enthusiast Chris Pratt woke up on Tuesday to an article linking the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star to both gun enthusiasts and racists. Yahoo Movies UK posted an image of Pratt wearing a t-shirt depicting a modified Gadsden flag, and the accompanying article claimed that the flag is both a symbol of “gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment” and is meant to convey “racially-tinged messages.”

“Although it is one of the symbols and flags used by the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, Metallica, as well as some libertarian groups, over the years the flag has been adopted by Far Right political groups like the Tea Party, as well as gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment,” read the original piece.

“It has therefore become a symbol of more conservative and far right individuals and, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the US, it also is ‘sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.’”

SEE ALSO: Florida city tells business to remove Gadsden flag

To justify the story as newsworthy, the author embedded tweets from three or four unverified Twitter users expressing outrage at Pratt’s shirt choice.

Tim Byrnes, for example, who has a grand total of 601 followers, somehow warranted inclusion in this bombshell report.

The story quickly faced criticism, and not only from Pratt’s lawyers.

Jonah Goldberg, former Senior Editor at the conservative outlet National Review, pointed out the non-racial history of the Gadsden flag.

Even some less conservative voices chimed in. Washington Post senior political reporter Aaron Blake wrote in an op-ed, “The media took a bold, largely unprecedented step this week to call Trump’s tweets ‘racist.’ Then Yahoo News did its best to undermine the whole exercise.”

The current version of the article has removed the paragraph about racism and no longer mentions white supremacism. The retraction at the top reads, “This article was updated on 17 July with the initial headline, ’Chris Pratt criticised for ‘white supremacist’ T-shirt’ being amended to ‘Chris Pratt criticised for T-shirt choice.’ References to White Supremacism in this article have been removed.”

Pratt has largely stayed away from politics during his rise from supporting actor in Parks and Recreation to A-list celebrity. But while he rarely makes openly political statements, he isn’t shy about his love of hunting, shooting, and the outdoors, hobbies that have sparked criticism among Hollywood types.

SEE ALSO: SIG Announces New Gadsden-Inspired Tread Rifle and Accessories

A 2018 TV Guide article, for example, takes issue with Pratt’s “problematic aspects of his life offscreen.” TV Guide includes Pratt’s “love of hunting” at the top of this list and criticized the “enthusiastic tone he took when speaking about ‘eating fresh farm-to-table lamb.’”

Behind some of the criticism is a 2012 interview Pratt gave with Outdoor Life in which he describes the reasons he likes to hunt, his favorite rifles, and his dream trophy room. The entire interview is worth a read, but here’s an excerpt:

It’s true that there aren’t a ton of hunters in Hollywood. That being said, the people I’ve talked to about it are actually fascinated with the subject. I think I’ve changed a few minds regarding the sport. It’s pretty incredible how little people actually know about hunting. Most people don’t even realize there are seasons or tags. They don’t understand the regulations or conservation benefits of hunting. I get a lot of, “Well as long as you eat the meat, I don’t care.” I have to be honest with them though. My passion for hunting is not simply the result of a need to feed myself. There’s grocery stores for that! I’m not eating ground hog or coyote! Sometimes people don’t understand and I don’t waste my breath trying to explain it. Either you get it or you don’t. But for the most part people aren’t judgmental about it. We just disagree and move on.

The Gadsden flag is named after American general and politician Christopher Gadsden (1724–1805), who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution. It was used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag. The original flag featured a yellow background with the snake and text depicted on Pratt’s shirt.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • PETER July 9, 2021, 5:35 pm

    He is an outdoorsman
    He is Christian
    He isn’t a hypocrite using firearms in his movies and doesn’t bash the Second Amendment
    There is a another fact but I wouldn’t be any better then the race baiters if’n I mentioned it

    Just sayin

  • Ej harbet July 28, 2019, 9:15 pm

    I have the gadsden on my vehicle and any who call it racist or anything other than the symbol of unrelenting defense of liberty can GFT!

  • Bobs your uncle July 20, 2019, 9:09 pm

    Is he wearin a shirt? I was lookin at the chick.

  • M@tt July 20, 2019, 10:28 am

    This is a perfect example of the lies, hate and rage that the left portraits. So tired of hearing these same people claim inclusiveness for all, stop the bullying, stop human trafficking and so on. In reality it’s just the opposite of what they preach. These people can NEVER be trusted.

  • James Scott July 19, 2019, 2:54 pm

    Racist people often say stupid shit, does that mean that the left is all racist? Because they say some stupid shit.

  • JR July 19, 2019, 2:42 pm

    A version of this flag with the snake and text was hoisted every morning on United States Navy ships up until last month after almost two decades as the Navy Jack. It still flies on the oldest commissioned warship in the Naval fleet. Sailors are authorized to wear it on their shoulder as a patch when wearing NWUs. Where is the outcry? It doesn’t exist because they were not told to be outraged.

  • Bad Penguin July 19, 2019, 1:07 pm

    Those who search for racism find it everywhere they look.

  • Shaun McKinsey July 19, 2019, 10:50 am

    There is not another flag other than the Stars and Stripes that has more meaning to me than the Gadsden flag…

    Don’t. Tread. On. Me.

  • RJ July 19, 2019, 10:27 am

    #1. Sue for slander! #2. Why is it in America that people say what ever they want, with complete disregard for the truth or fact? I understand we are a free country, but I think these activists are pushing the envelope. There was a time when being honorable, truthful and having integrity was the example to follow. Parents and grandparents need to spend more time teaching the younger generation that it is good to have change, but do not forget what it took to get our country to this point! We have a past, it’s what makes us who we are, Americans!

  • Sean July 19, 2019, 9:39 am

    If I dont like the color purple, does it mean I’m racist towards purple?

    • em July 20, 2019, 2:21 am

      Well, the racist democrat quartet will find fault with you for discriminating against the Color Purple and possibly say you’re racist toward whoopti-do gold mountain.

  • BR549 July 19, 2019, 9:04 am

    Well, if Yahoo UK can draw such a ditsy conclusion, I suppose it would be just as stupid to suppose that any Democrat politician sporting an American Flag lapel pin actually supported the Constitution.

  • joefoam July 19, 2019, 8:45 am

    The slobbering fools will only remember the first story smearing Pratt. The retraction will be lost in the shuffle.

  • Jay July 19, 2019, 7:39 am

    The leftest are hell bound intent on pushing their mental illness down everyone’s throats!

  • Dr Motown July 19, 2019, 7:12 am

    Amazing how everything the left doesn\’t like is immediately linked to \”racism\” or \”transphobia\”

  • Tar Heel Realist July 19, 2019, 4:45 am

    Just like ISIS, Dems too are hell bent on erasing/changing history. If Liberals were as smart as they’re always professing, they’d know that the Gadsden flag was the USMC (Continental Marines) first flag.

    Liberals…they wouldn’t know a fact if it reached up and bit them on their posterior.

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