News organizations are refuting the existence of an alleged phenomenon known as the “Knockout Game” that has been the subject of media warnings in recent weeks, reports USA Today. CNN, the Today show, USA Today and others have reported that the game takes place when a young person randomly assaults a stranger in an attempt to knock them out with one punch. Police officials in several cities where the attacks have been reported say the Knockout Game is an urban myth, and that attacks that have received recent attention in the media have been random assaults.
A column on Slate.com reports that while the game does exist, there are no hard data to support the notion that it is a growing trend that has reached epidemic levels. It contests suggestions by some news organizations that some of the attacks have been racially motivated. The patheos.com website says, “Most sources claim that it is spreading, and a number of sources claim that it is racially motivated. But how do they know? Where are they getting their data from?”