Is Joaquin Phoenix really urging Rooney Mara’s family, who own football teams, to get the NFL to stop using leather footballs? That’s the ridiculous claim in one of the new tabloids, but Gossip Cop has learned the truth.
The actor’s girlfriend comes from a football dynasty, with her mom’s family founding the Pittsburgh Steelers and her father’s side co-owning the New York Giants. An article in the latest issue of the National Enquirer now claims Phoenix, a lifelong vegan, wants Mara’s family to convince NFL bosses to no longer use footballs derived from animals.
A supposed “source” tells the magazine, “He’s been bombarding them with emails about man-made alternatives to the traditional cowhide footballs used by the NFL. Rooney’s family forced themselves to be polite in their responses… but they’re totally laughing behind his back.” The outlet’s dubious insider adds, “They think he’s a total hippie with an overinflated ego – who in their right mind thinks they can go up against the NFL?”
Despite how absurd this all sounds, Gossip Cop still checked in with a source close to the situation, who laughed off the tabloid’s report before exclusively assuring us it’s “not true.” The Enquirer has come up with a creative concept based on Mara’s ties to the NFL and Phoenix’s vegan lifestyle, but there’s no validity to any of it.
It should be noted, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to debunk a phony article regarding the actor’s relationship with his girlfriend’s family. Gossip Cop recently busted the Enquirer’s sister publication, OK!, for falsely claiming Rooney’s sister Kate banned Phoenix from her wedding. We also corrected the tabloid’s other sister outlet, Star, after it wrongly alleged Phoenix was losing movie roles because he’s difficult. This latest story about the actor’s nonexistent crusade against the NFL is equally bogus.