How the internet was tricked into thinking the 'Redskins' became the 'Redhawks'

15 December, 2017, 06:40 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • How the internet was tricked into thinking the 'Redskins' became the 'Redhawks'

Although activists throughout the world have successfully been able to change the name of hundreds of racially charged Indigenous names, major league teams like The Cleaveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and the Washington Redskins (among others) have all continued use their contested names.

Among the spoof sites included mockeries of ESPN Sports, The Washington Post and Sports Illustrated.

The fake news stories also feature statements from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Jay Gruden saying that the new name will purportedly take effect this coming weekend.

This website was created by Native advocates to help us all imagine how easy and powerful changing the mascot could be.

A Native American activist group has claimed responsibility for an online hoax deceiving people into believing the Washington Redskins had changed their name to the "Redhawks".

Wednesday morning, multiple fake web sites began to be passed around on social media showing that the Washington Redskins had changed their name to the "Washington Redhawks".

The stories were elaborate enough to include details, like fake quotes, a debut date of "Fall 2018", and a new logo for the proposed team name, "Redhawks".

How the internet was tricked into thinking the 'Redskins' became the 'Redhawks'
How the internet was tricked into thinking the 'Redskins' became the 'Redhawks'

The sites appear almost identical to the news sites aside from different urls.

The Washington Redskins confronted the rumors over Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

All the online pages added disclaimers announcing the website as a parody and not endorsed by nor affiliated with sites they were imitating. Today, social media exploded with an updated logo and mascot for DC's football team: The Washington Redhawks.

"This morning, the Redskins organization was made aware of fraudulent websites about our team name".

A native activist group, Rising Hearts, was behind the hoax, according to the press release.

Changing the Redskins name would be easy, Medina-Tayac said, because it's only a four-letter difference between Redskins and Redhawks.

Within hours after publishing the announcement, the Native American advocacy group the Rising Hearts Coalition admitted that it was behind the faux name change in a separate statement. "Just four letters! Certainly the harm that the mascot does to Native Americans outweighs the very, very minor changes the franchise would need to make".


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