Why Matthew McConaughey was wearing an Amazing Race t-shirt

True Detective star and actor Matthew McConaughey was photographed when Brad Pitt threw him a beer in New Orleans this weekend, and as some sharp-eyed people noticed, McConaughey and New Orleans Saints player Drew Brees were wearing t-shirts that said “The Amazing Race.”

Multiple media outlets–including Time and Gawker–reported, they were “in New Orleans briefly to film an ‘Amazing Race’ segment,” as MTV News claimed.

Except the show isn’t filming. And the likelihood of a truly A-list celebrity appearing on it is pretty low (as in, very nearly zero). Besides, when does anyone on the race wear “Amazing Race” t-shirts while on the race? Also, I don’t ever remember Nike sponsoring The Amazing Race and having their logo paired with the CBS reality show’s logo. And since when has The Amazing Race filmed “segments”? Legs of the race, sure, but “segments” sounds like a word used by someone who doesn’t watch that show but thinks they know what they’re talking about. (Gawker actually called it “an Amazing Race scavenger hunt segment.”)

The t-shirt didn’t come from the TV show, but instead from a charity event with the same name that’s a partnership between McConaughey and Brees’ foundations. Two years ago, The Brees Dream Foundation teamed up with McConaughey and Camila Alves’ foundation J.K. Livin Foundation for an event called The Amazing Race.

The Times-Picayune reported that “McConaughey has been hanging with Brees while in town for a benefit for Brees’ Brees Dream Foundation and McConaughey’s Just Keep Livin’ Foundation.” They were in New Orleans for a Saturday benefit concert by Kenny Chesney that was described on Live Nation like this:

“One night only benefit hosted by Drew Brees and Matthew McConaughey for their foundations featuring a concert by Kenny Chesney and Live Auction. 21+ W/ ID. Standing Only.”

This year’s event included a still-ongoing an auction to benefit the two foundations that is uses “The Amazing Race” title, although it doesn’t seem as though there was an actual race this year. Billboard reported on the 2012 version.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.