Atlas FC fans during a July 23, 2023 Leagues Cup match in New York City. Jul 23, 2023; Queens, NY, USA; Fans of Atlas FC cheer during the second half against New York City FC at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While sports can be quite serious, they’re not usually in the same category as terrible moments of history. And referencing those moments of history, or the key players in them, generally seems to work out poorly for sports figures or teams. The latest to do something along those lines is Liga MX’s Atlas FC, who decided to complain Monday morning about reactions to an offside call (that went in their favor) Sunday night in a Leagues Cup match against MLS’ New York City FC with…a quote from Nazi-era Germany Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. (Which is something Goebbels seemingly didn’t actually say, but we’ll get to that.)

Here’s a screenshot in case they delete that tweet (which remained up as of 12:30 p.m. Eastern Monday):

Here’s the Google Translate version:

This shot is crystal clear, the offside happens on the first play. It is unfortunate how “influencers” and “analysts” media people manipulate by generating ideas of “supposed aid”, but remembering what Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Information (Hitler’s right-hand man) said, apply it perfectly: “lie, lie, lie that something will remain, the bigger a lie, the more people will believe it”. @werevertumorro

Amazingly enough, this is not just a reference to Goebbels, but a reference to something Goebbels probably didn’t actually say (at least not in quite those words). A 2012 academic article by Quentin J. Schultze and Randall L. Bytwerk in journal ETC: A Review of General Semantics (Vol. 69, No. 2) traced “the origin and rapid spread of a quotation misattributed to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. The quotation spread from online sources to print and even at least one peer-reviewed journal—all without ever being sourced.”

So not only did Atlas FC reference one of the more infamous figures of the 20th century and a key member of the government of Adolf Hitler (who, in contrast to Goebbels, did actually use “big lie” language, but not  in quite this way), they didn’t even use a real quote from him. (And amazingly enough, this is not even the first time a sports figure has used a fake quote from a Nazi figure in the past three years.) And Atlas FC ran this fake quote not even to complain about a call, but to complain about Twitter reactions to that call. And they did so about a match that they won 1-0. Those are all certainly choices, and they perhaps should have learned from @dril’s famous ISIL tweet:

And we do not, under any circumstances, gotta hand it to Atlas FC for their Twitter strategy.

[Tom Bogert on Twitter]

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.