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Patrick Mahomes did not wear swastika at Super Bowl

As Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to their third NFL championship in five seasons, social media posts claimed the star quarterback's signature headband featured a Nazi symbol. This is false; the object over Mahomes' ear during the team's overtime Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers was his player number 15.

"You're a nazi @PatrickMahomes," a February 12 post on X -- formerly Twitter -- claims. Liked thousands of times, it highlights a symbol on the sweatband worn by Mahomes and likens it to a pro-Nazi symbol.

<span>A screenshot of a post on X taken on February 12, 2024</span>
A screenshot of a post on X taken on February 12, 2024

Similar claims circulated elsewhere on X (also here and here) and Reddit. But these are false; his headband at the Super Bowl did not showcase a Nazi symbol; instead, it displayed the quarterback's team number, #15.

The number is partially obscured by his ear as he turns his head to speak, but the full footage of the post-game interview with CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson that was used to take a screenshot of Mahomes shows the number clearly (archived here).

<span>Screenshot taken February 13, 2024 of a video uploaded to Facebook by the NFL</span>
Screenshot taken February 13, 2024 of a video uploaded to Facebook by the NFL

An AFP photo of Mahomes that same night also shows the #15 on his bandana.

<span>Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback #15 Patrick Mahomes walks back to the locker rooms after warm up ahead of Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 11, 2024</span><div><span>TIMOTHY A. CLARY</span><span>AFP</span></div>
Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback #15 Patrick Mahomes walks back to the locker rooms after warm up ahead of Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 11, 2024
TIMOTHY A. CLARYAFP

A photo from the sidelines, taken for Getty Images by photographer Jamie Squire, also shows the number on the headband.

<span>Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on prior to Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada</span><div><span>JAMIE SQUIRE</span><span>GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA</span></div>
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on prior to Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada
JAMIE SQUIREGETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

Mahomes was named the Super Bowl MVP on February 11, as the Chiefs snatched a thrilling come from behind 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He has worn the number 15 since he was drafted to the team, choosing to retain it in 2018 even after the number 5, which he sported in college at Texas Tech, became available.

The Chiefs have faced additional scrutiny this season as tight end Travis Kelce made his high-profile romance with superstar musician Taylor Swift public. Kelce and Swift have been the target of multiple conspiracy theories.

AFP has debunked multiple claims about Kelce and Swift.