Neil deGrasse Tyson, the science spokesperson that we deserve but don’t necessarily need, has beef with another celebrity over their belief that the Earth is flat. This time, the director of the Hayden Planetarium is clapping back at NBA superstar Kyrie Irving. Because, of course he is.
“This is not even a conspiracy theory,” the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard explained on the Road Trippin’ with RJ & Channing podcast a few days ago. “The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. … It’s right in front of our faces. I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us.”
Irving doubled down in subsequent interviews, though it seemed like he was enjoying the media’s reaction, for what it’s worth. Tyson, perhaps sensing the same disturbance in the force he felt when rapper B.o.B. claimed the Earth was flat, entered the fray in defense of our spherical planet when a reporter with TMZ brought up the issue.
Tyson joked that all flat Earth truthers should be shot up into space and only allowed to return home after they admit that the Earth is round.
“We live in a free country, so you ought to be able to think and say whatever you want. If he wants to think Earth is flat, go right ahead – as long as he continues to play basketball and not become head of any space agencies,” Tyson said. “My point is if you have certain limitations of understanding of the natural world, stay away from jobs that require that.”
It’s a completely fair point, but by Tyson’s logic, he should also stay away from sports. Since, you know, he celebrated the Super Bowl by tweeting this: