Matt Maddock in a 2014 campaign ad. (Matt Maddock on YouTube.) Matt Maddock in a 2014 campaign ad. (Matt Maddock on YouTube.)

The last several years have seen a lot of claims about “illegal immigration.” That’s sometimes included discussion of particular southern states organizing flights to send asylum seekers to northern states or cities. That appears what led to a very strange tweet Wednesday from Michigan state representative Matt Maddock (a Republican who currently represents the 51st District, areas covering part of suburban Detroit’s Oakland County). There, Maddock complained about flights and buses of “illegal invaders” in Detroit, and tagged Michigan Republican chairman Pete Hoekstra:

However, as many quickly noted, that flight had…the Gonzaga Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team, set to face the Purdue Boilermakers in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 Friday at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.

Attempts to point that out to Maddock did not find much success, though.

And he then doubled down on his take Thursday:

Maddock (known for his bail bonds business ownership; he is not the MMA fighter) was first elected in 2018. He gained further prominence in early 2021 when he and his wife Meshawn led efforts to overturn Michigan’s 2020 presidential election voting. He was kicked out of the GOP caucus in April 2022 over allegedly violating confidentiality rules, but was readmitted in January 2023 after winning reelection. His Twitter bio of “Trump Endorsed, Ranked Most Conservative State Representative, Freedom Caucus, Anti-communist, Husband of Michigan’s Most Wanted Republican @MeshawnMaddock” tells you a fair bit about his positions.

But Maddock apparently isn’t following the NCAA Tournament closely. And he was wildly wrong on who was on these buses. That’s amusing, as he once introduced a “Fact-Checker Registration Act” requiring fact-checkers to register with the state and pay fines for inaccuracies; it has not yet made it out of committee. And that led to him making an incredible Facebook post, cited by Detroit’s WDIV at the time:

An image politician Matt Maddock posted to Facebook about fact-checking.
An image politician Matt Maddock posted to Facebook about fact-checking. (Matt Maddock on Facebook.)

So Maddock should perhaps fact-check himself a bit. As one commentator noted, though, this could be a moniker potentially embraced by visiting teams:

This is just the latest absolutely false story about the NCAA Tournament to go viral. But this one came from an elected state representative, not a fake reporter.

[Matt Maddock on Twitter/X; image via Matt Maddock on YouTube]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.