There are few things more devastating than thinking you’ve come across something incredibly valuable only to have an expert tell you that’s not the case. Most of the time after that happens though, the skepticism remains. “How is this 30-something-year-old schmuck supposed to know what an Abraham Lincoln signature looks like? He wasn’t alive back then!” Now imagine if Abraham Lincoln just walked up to you and said, “Yeah, I didn’t sign that.” After the initial shock of talking to a dead guy fades away, you’d probably finally succumb to the fact that what you possess isn’t the real deal. After all, the man knows himself better than anyone else. Well, that wasn’t the case for Twitter user @gray_silk.
Our story starts off as simply as any other, with our protagonist looking to sell some slick Ravens merch over Twitter.
Nothing to see here. Why he hashtagged the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys, I have no idea, but all else concerned, everything is fine. His fatal flaw though? He tagged Lamar Jackson. The former MVP is no stranger to calling people out on Twitter. He’s routinely called out Ravens fans who have speculated that Jackson could be thinking about leaving the team. He’s not just one of those athletes who doesn’t pay attention to his mentions and notifications. He will come after you if you swing at him, or his image, and that’s exactly what happened in this instance.
That’s all he had to say to shatter @gray_silk’s mind. “I didn’t sign that.” @gray_silk couldn’t believe it. It was authenticated. Surely, this must be a case of a superstar not remembering every piece of memorabilia he put his name on. @gray_silk wasn’t backing down.
JSA stands for James Spence Authentication. It’s one of the leading authentication companies in the world. They’re well-respected and generally don’t get anything wrong...generally. They are prone to counterfeiters though. When you become so highly touted in your field, it’s not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of that esteem. This has allegedly happened often enough though that JSA’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years. Still, @gray_silk was holding out hope. Jackson was shutting it down.
Now is when the horror starts creeping in @gray_silk’s mind. “What have I gotten myself into?” he thinks to himself. “Am I really arguing with Lamar Jackson about a Lamar Jackson signature?” he clamors in fear. “Have I been royally duped?” The answer to that last one… yes. Yes, he has. Jackson does sign memorabilia with his patented “LJ 8" however, he never, and I mean never loops his L’s. He always draws the downward stroke and then comes straight back up to the right, like he’s creating an acute angle in math class. That’s not the case with @gray_silk’s signature.
As more and more people affirmed the idea that @gray_silk didn’t have a legitimately signed jersey, he started to freak out. He has dozens of other “signed” pieces of Ravens memorabilia in his possession. Thankfully, many of the other signatures seem more legitimate. Not saying all of them are or aren’t, but many of the others he posted to his Twitter seem to match up with Jackson’s real signatures.
You can’t help but feel bad for the guy. If this happened privately, it would be nothing, but for him to be dragged online by the man he’s clearly an enormous fan of… oof, that’s gotta hurt. It’s not his fault though. He had no reason to believe the autograph was fake, it was even “authenticated.” Let this be a lesson though. When making a big purchase, it’s best to make sure it’s legit.
How could @gray_silk have done that in this situation? I have no idea. By all accounts, I probably would’ve done the same thing. So I guess the lesson should be: when you’re trying to sell a piece of memorabilia, don’t tag the person who supposedly signed it. They could end up calling you out for having a fake. Lesson learned, let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.