Fact check: 'Black Lives Matter' buses transported the Toronto Raptors, not protesters

Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY
·3 mins read

The claim: Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters travel on luxury buses

A picture of charter buses wrapped with the phrase "Black Lives Matter" and parked in a yard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sparked a claim on social media they were being used to transport demonstrators to protests.

An Aug. 29 post to Facebook containing the pictures was shared over 2,000 times. The post caption identified the charters as "Antifa/BLM luxury buses."

The user who posted the image also claimed antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters, "aka rioters" were being shipped to various "Democrat" cities to "destroy, burn and murder."

USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.

Another version of the claim was posted to the Twitter account Truth is Freedom a month prior. Truth is Freedom is a conservative "Reality Researcher," according to its Twitter bio. The account tagged President Donald Trump in a July 19 tweet that claimed the buses were used to transport "Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters."

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Buses carried the Toronto Raptors to the NBA 'bubble'

Pictures of the buses wrapped in the words "Black Lives Matter" along with a video were posted to the Toronto Raptors' Twitter account on July 9. The post includes the caption, "Silence is not an option." A copy of the post is on the official Instagram page of the Raptors.

A full view of the wrappings feature the red "clawed" basketball, which is the team logo. The logos are missing from the images in the claim.

A representative for the Toronto Raptors told The Associated Press the buses were provided by a private company to transport the team from training camp in Naples, Florida, to Orlando on July 9.

CBC/Radio-Canada also included pictures of the buses in an Associated Press article about the Raptors' trip to the NBA bubble in Orlando. NBA players kicked off the season in an isolated environment — the "bubble" — to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, USA TODAY reported.

The "Black Lives Matter" wraps were removed on July 10. Afterward, the buses were parked in Fort Lauderdale and taken out of service, according to the AP.

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Our rating: False

We rate this claim FALSE, because it is not supported by our research. The buses pictured in the initial claim were misidentified as luxury transports used to carry antifa and Black Lives Matter demonstrators to protests. Media reports show the buses were used to carry the Toronto Raptors basketball team to the NBA bubble in Orlando on July 9.

Our fact-check sources:

Contributing: Associated Press

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: 'Black Lives Matter' buses transported Toronto Raptors