Basketball legend Michael Jordan is not leaving the Nike Inc. board of directors, and his namesake brand, the Air Jordan sneaker, remains with the shoe and apparel company.

Jordan has never sat on the company's board of directors, said Mitch Germann, a spokesman for Jordan Brand, which Nike owns. And, although Jordan has played a significant role with the brand, which includes the Air Jordan shoes, the division is owned by the company -- not Jordan.

The false claim, which originated on an online satire site, began circulating widely after Nike's launch of a new ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick became the face of national protests against police brutality when he began kneeling during the National Anthem before NFL games in 2016. The site that originated the post, America's Last Line of Defense, a site that labels itself as satire, acknowledged posting the item. The post was shared tens of thousands of times across social media and picked up by sites as news.


This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.