'Refrigerator' Perry Death Report a Hoax; Bears Star Alive, Well

Image: 'Refrigerator' Perry Death Report a Hoax; Bears Star Alive, Well

Thursday, 15 Aug 2013 07:50 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A rogue tweet claiming that former Chicago Bears defensive lineman William "Refrigerator" Perry had died was found to be a hoax Wednesday.

The message about its alumnus was posted but soon deleted from the @ClemsonTigerNet account, but not before the news spread like wildfire via social media.

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Perry's agent Adam Plotkin dismissed the death rumors Wednesday.

"I know he is not dead," Plotkin told the Chicago Tribune. "I talked to [his brother] Michael Dean [Perry] a few minutes ago. And I know the Bears were down there interviewing Fridge on Saturday for coach [Mike] Ditka’s [jersey] retirement. But I did talk to Michael Dean, and he had gotten some calls, too, and Michael Dean said it was OK to confirm that Fridge is fine.

"I guess someone called Michael Dean and said that someone found out that someone named William Perry died, but it wasn’t the Fridge. Someone from Clemson called us as well and said they had been getting a lot of calls and stuff," Plotkin said. "He is completely fine."

Later in the day, Perry himself addressed the hoax on Twitter.

The TigerNet staff said the report that Perry had died was a mix-up; it was a different William Perry's passing that caused the confusion.

"Refrigerator" Perry, 50, played 10 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Bears. Known for his large size, Perry helped the Bears win Super Bowl XX during his rookie season.

He has made headlines before for his health problems, so the death report was not entirely implausible. Four years ago, Perry was hospitalized for five months and forced to use a wheelchair after suffering the effects of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which targets the peripheral nervous system and causes progressive weakness.

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