Omar the Referee Became a TikTok Phenomenon — Is He OK?

After going viral for a random TikTok video, rumors are swirling claiming that Omar the referee died. But there's no evidence that those rumors are true.


Aug. 10 2023, Published 10:33 a.m. ET

The gist:

  • A viral TikTok depicting a youth basketball ref named Omar went viral, but now, there's a rumor that Omar has died.
  • However, there are no credible reports confirming Omar's death.
  • The death hoax surrounding Omar is not the first about a viral TikTok personality to pop up.
Article continues below advertisement

After a video went viral on TikTok, a man named Omar who was refereeing a youth basketball game became a viral phenomenon. The phenomenon of Omar the referee began thanks to a video of him catching a ball that was headed into the stands. The video went viral and the rest is history. In the video, Omar seems to give those in the stands a look after catching the ball as if he had saved their lives.

The original video has now been viewed more than 1 million times, and it's already becoming a meme across the internet. Following the video's virality, though, another rumor has spread about Omar that has left some concerned about him. What happened to Omar the referee? Here's what we know.

Article continues below advertisement

What happened to Omar the referee?

Rumors began circulating online that Omar had died. The rumor suggested that he had died by suicide after facing cyberbullying in the wake of his sudden rise to prominence. The rumor was spread by several accounts on TikTok, including one that was verified and another that claimed to be BBC News. Naturally, many people wondered whether the rumors about Omar were true.

Article continues below advertisement

Is Omar the ref really dead?

The short answer is that there's nothing credible suggesting that Omar is really dead. The accounts posting about his death aren't credible. One of the accounts has only existed for a few days and the other isn't really BBC News. In all likelihood, the accounts probably decided to start a false rumor that Omar had died in order to boost their own accounts.

No official statements have been released to that effect, and there's not much reason to trust the reporting of random people on TikTok.

What is true, though, is that Omar has been surprised by his recent fame. Omar was featured in a viral video in which he was confused about why someone might want his autograph. While Omar may be far more famous now than he ever figured he would be, it doesn't seem like he has died.

Article continues below advertisement

Omar the referee isn't the first internet death hoax.

Death hoaxes have unfortunately become increasingly common on the internet, in part because they are such a good way for accounts to increase their clout. While it's obviously true that famous people do die in random and sometimes tragic ways, it's important to wait for information to be independently verified before you start posting about it yourself. Otherwise, you might start spreading information that isn't true.

Even if he never meant to, Omar the referee has brought lots of people plenty of joy thanks to the memes that have been created from his video. He may not have intended to become an online phenomenon, but for now, those who have enjoyed his video and memes can rest easy knowing that nothing bad has happened to Omar. He's hopefully just refereeing more youth basketball games and saving people in the stands from rogue balls in the process.

More from Distractify

Latest Influencers News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2023 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.