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The Shark Guy: A Pure Example Of Wrong Media Trials That Started 5 Years Ago Two high-profile suspects were mistakenly uncovered in the search for this smirking man pictured straddling a dead shark in his birthday suit

By John Stanly

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A tanned male humping a dead shark on a boat was the biggest mystery that reigned some 5 years ago and continues to perplex and enrage netizens. Internet users from all across the world have criticized the inhumane behavior, with some even wishing to find the offender and offer him advice. So, how did it all begin?

Two high-profile suspects were mistakenly uncovered in the search for this smirking man pictured straddling a dead shark in his birthday suit. Two high-profile lookalikes, one a US football coach and the other the proprietor of a prosperous sandwich company were highlighted. Following questions from reporters at a press conference, University of Florida football coach Jim McElwain issued a statement denying he was the man in the photo. The next person is the proprietor of a wealthy sandwich company. Who is he exactly?

What's the Deal With The Jimmy John Shark Scandal?

Jimmy John Liautaud is the proprietor of a popular sandwich chain. Before we go at the claims against Jimmy John Liautuaud, let's take a brief look at who he really is.

Liautaud's father gave him the option of joining the military or starting a company once he finished high school. Liautaud chose the path of business. However, he did not forget his responsibilities to his nation and community, as proven by the following actions:

  • Jimmy John Liautaud's firm gave $1 million to the Folds of Honor Foundation in September 2014, which helps the families of troops who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.
  • Jimmy John's donated over 100 laptop computers to the Champaign Unit 4 School District for the 2015 school year.
  • In November 2016, Jimmy John's gave $125,000 to the Champaign Parks Foundation to fund the Youth Scholarship Program.
  • Jimmy John's gave $100,000 to EAT (RED) SAVE LIVES in June 2017 to provide HIV/AIDS medicines to people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Jimmy John's gave $80,000 in December 2018 to pay off all Christmas layaways at Walmart locations in Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy.

Is it really possible that a person who is so responsible to society could commit such a horrible deed as laying nude on a dead shark while grinning coldly?

As a result of this photograph, several boycott movements against Liautaud's firm have popped up. The sandwich entrepreneur, however, disputed the charges through a spokesperson, claiming that the individual suspected of being Liautaud is not his boss.

It Wasn't Liautaud After All. So, Who Was it then?

Nearly 5 years ago, the real perpetrator was identified as Jim McSwiggan, a retired New York police officer. Jim McSwiggan said in an interview that the photo was of him. As a consequence, neither Jimmy John Liautaud nor Jim McElwain will face any further media trials.

Jimmy John Liautaud is Not the Man in the Photo

According to the former sandwich shop owner, he is not the man in the infamous image. It's worth noting that the restaurant chain he founded is no longer owned by him. Instead, the company is owned by Inspire Brands, and the original owner has stepped down from the board and is now merely an adviser.

Who is the Man in the Photo?

An alternative theory was that the man was Jim McElwain, a football coach for Central Michigan University. However, Coach McElwain denied the accusations.

The truth was finally revealed in an interview by Barstool Sports. Jim McSwiggan, a former police officer from upstate New York, confessed in the interview that he was the man in the photo.

"The coach said it wasn't him. I knew it wasn't him because it was me," McSwiggan explained. This proved both Jim McElwain and Jimmy John Liautaud innocent, finally putting the controversy to rest.

Now that Jimmy John Liautaud has been vindicated, the Internet can rest assured that he was definitely not 'the naked shark guy'.

Does It All End Here?

There are many issues that have surfaced from this controversy that still raises some questions for the web and for society as a whole.

It is considered rude to strip naked and lie on top of a shark that you have captured. Where is the amusement in humiliating dead animals?

Secondly, the reputations of two decent persons were dragged into this debate solely on the basis of their resemblance to the real man. As a result, they were subject to several media trials, as well as being humiliated by the harsh attitude of the enraged public.

Both of these concerns need to be handled carefully, and it makes one ask if these activities are in any way encouraging and should be perpetuated, or if those who conduct the so-called media trials should be held accountable.

John Stanly

Start-up mentor