Calm down, Twitterverse. Michael Phelps is not dead.
Fred Phelps, however, is.
Seems some folks on Twitter have gotten the two confused. Or maybe this is just some tweeter’s idea of a joke. Whatever the case, “Michael Phelps RIP” is trending on Twitter – prematurely, we’re glad to report.
Fred Phelps was the head of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church, a group of virulently anti-gay advocates – many of them members of Fred Phelps’ family, apparently – notorious for showing up at soldiers’ funerals and demonstrating. They believe God is punishing this country for being pro-gay, and have attributed almost every ill to befall this country of late on God’s wrath.
Fred Phelps died Wednesday night, at age 84.
Baltimore’s Michael Phelps, 28 and no relation to Fred, is a swimmer who has won, at last count, about 3,000 Olympic medals. He has allegedly retired from swimming, although many aren’t buying that we’ve seen him in a pool for the last time.
One thing’s for certain, though. Only one Phelps is dead, and it’s not Michael.