This article is a warning about the rumor mill and the dissemination of information on social media. Following yesterday’s announcement that two Tottenham Hotspur players had tested positive for COVID-19, apparently excluding them from three matches, including tomorrow’s in Newcastle, the identities of players positive for COVID are is spread like wildfire.
The two names that seemed to come up the most were Son Heung-Min and Bryan Gil. It is Very important before going any further to state that there is a good reason why I haven’t written anything about identities until now – because this is totally free tabloid social media fodder. source that has not yet been corroborated in any way by a reputable news source. This is crucial to keep in mind as you read the rest of this story.
Today, the Yonghap News Agency, primarily the PA for Korean media, raised the possibility that Son was one of two players who tested positive. In that report, Yonghap, citing “a local source familiar with the situation,” said that a subsequent COVID test administered to Sonny came back NEGATIVE, apparently paving the way for him to play at St. James’ Park tomorrow.
Here is the relevant paragraph, browse Google Translate.
A local source familiar with the situation told Yonhap News on the 16th (local time): “Tonight I was contacted by the agent who told me: ‘His son has tested negative and will play against Newcastle tomorrow. (17). “
This is very good news, if it is true! But as I keep stressing on this blog, especially during the transfer window, we must always be skeptical about these kinds of reports. Yonghap is an Actual Media Organization ™ and that gives a bit more seriousness, but in that same post they also don’t cite any other Twitter Spurs Hotspur Related rumor aggregator as the source of the initial positive COVID test. Hotspur Related as the main source of Korean sports history. What a world!
Here’s what we actually know: nothing.
Or, more specifically, we know that Son Heung-Min may (or not) have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from international service with Korea, and that a hypothetical subsequent test may (or not) have yielded a negative result, signifying a possible false positive. Sonny then maybe (or not) hopped on a plane to Newcastle tonight where he might (or not) be tested once more.
I don’t know if we’ll ever get the full story of what happened here. I’m not sure this is due to us as fans. COVID diagnoses are medical decisions, and these should not be in the public domain unless the subjects of those decisions consent. Or, here’s Alasdair Gold, himself recently recovered from a COVID crisis, which is way better than me:
I get the social media need to know the names of the two Spurs players who have tested positive. However, other than having a new test today to confirm, it’s up to them to decide if they want to reveal what ultimately is a medical issue. They may well do it, but it is their choice.
– Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) October 16, 2021
Nothing would make me happier than seeing the lines drop tomorrow an hour before kickoff and finding Sonny’s name in the starting lineup. It’s really the only thing that matters here. Everything else is pure speculation until revealed by a reliable source, and frankly, it’s none of our business anyway.