Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery took place on Monday night and the New York Rangers were awarded the first overall selection. While Rangers fans were celebrating, other fans across the league were launching a full investigation into the matter and creating conspiracy theories.
NHL Draft truthers have emerged and are making claims that the league rigged the draft to give the selection to the Rangers. The draft was broadcasted live on television, allowing sports fans everywhere to dissect every move made and dissect they did. Heading into the Draft Lottery, the eight teams had an equal 12.5% chance of being selected. Though conspiracy theorists would probably respond to that statement saying, "But did they really..."
The Ernst & Young employee in charge of dropping the ping pong balls into the machine fumbled with the Rangers' ball a moment before he was supposed to insert it. Almost immediately, people on social media were claiming that meant it was a different weight than the rest.
Pay close attention to his face when he realizes he messed up.
This is far from the first time sports fans have accused a league of rigging a draft. There's of course the frozen envelope claims with the New York Knicks in 1985, which resulted in them getting Patrick Ewing, and also 2005's theory that the NHL made sure Sidney Crosby went to the Pittsburgh Penguins. I doubt it will be the last.
If there's one things sports fans love, it's making claims that back why their team has been giving an unfair hand. Take a look at some of the conspiracy theories floating around Twitter:
Even Rangers players were joking about it.
I don’t like how that guy dropped the rangers ball in there. Rigged??— Tony DeAngelo (@TonyDee07) August 10, 2020
I'd say the nerves were visible.
Live look into fans homes while they gather evidence for their NHL Draft Lottery investigation:
This gif was used a lot.
These fans seem VERY confident regarding their theory.
RANGERS BALL WAS DROPPED IN BEFORE CONFIRMATION OF THE LOGO THEN THEY WON THE LOTTERY 🤔 RIGGED?— Drew (@hillman811) August 10, 2020
The draft is rigged. He dropped the rangers ball because it was a different weight than the other ones!— T-Rav *ESSENTIAL* (@TJones_Inc) August 10, 2020
Some Rangers fans are taking the stance of just acknowledging it to anger fans.
But of course, with all theories, not everyone is on board.