Native Advocacy Group's Redskins Name-Change Prank Fooled Tons Of People

Native Advocacy Group's Redskins Name-Change Prank Fooled Tons Of People

Native Advocacy Group's Redskins Name-Change Prank Fooled Tons Of People

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".

In the immediate aftermath of this event, the Washington Redskins released the following statement from their official Twitter account to ensure that people were aware that their name hadn't changed.

If you thought the Washington Redskins recently had changed their team name, we can't blame you.

According to the Washington Post, an alliance of American Indian activists posted internet pages disguised as news outlets saying the team had changed its name to the Redhawks.

Redskins senior vice president of communications, Tony Wyllie, told the Post that the matter was forwarded to the NFL.

One of the organizers of the event, Rebecca Nagle said the following of why this online hoax was staged in a press release.

Native Advocacy Group's Redskins Name-Change Prank Fooled Tons Of People

In another webpage made to look like the Washington Post sports section, the headline read, "Native Leaders Celebrate Victory as Washington Football Changes Mascot to the 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.

For instance, the fake Washington Post page linked to the fake Redskins home page. "Are they rooting for the team or are they rooting for that severed head?"

The US capital's National Football League club has come under fire in recent years for its reluctance to consider changing the name that many feel is a racial slur toward Native Americans. This website was created by Native advocates to help us all imagine how easy and powerful changing the mascot could be. "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", Nagle said. The Washington team had lost its trademark protections in a lower-court case brought by activists, but will get them restored on the merits of the Slants decision.

The activists behind the online action, Rising Hearts, are hosting an in-person press conference in Washington DC this Thursday December 14th at 2PM at the George Preston Marshall Monument in front of RFK Stadium.

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