There's an elaborate Washington Redskins name change hoax

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Several media outlets masking themselves as legitimate news sources changed the National Football League team's name to the Washington Redhawks as the DC team continues to face backlash for its name, which many consider to be offensive to Native Americans.

Those who actually fell for it were duped by an elaborate online hoax carried out by a group of Native American activists on Wednesday.

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.

A couple of sites were created with news stories claiming that the Redskins had changed their name, but it was quickly revealed that this was a hoax orchestrated by a group of activists calling for the team to change their name. "The name of the team is the Washington Redskins and will remain that for the future".

Not only did the group create fake news sites, but they also created an official Facebook page and an official Twitter page for the team.

A website, set up to look identical to the Redskin's website, has a disclaimer stating, "This website is a parody and is not endorsed by the Washington football team, the NFL, Dan Snyder, or any of their affiliates because, in 2017, these people think it's still OK to use a racial slur for their mascot".

One of the organizers of the event, Rebecca Nagle said the following of why this online hoax was staged in a press release. The team's tagline is "A mascot everyone can cheer for".

At the time of the ruling, Redskins' owner Dan Snyder said he was "thrilled" by the Supreme Court's decision, and lawyer Lisa Blatt said it vindicated the team's position.

"This morning, the Redskins organization was made aware of fraudulent websites about our team name", Tony Wyllie, the team's senior vice president for communications, said in a statement. "We wanted to make it immediate and urgent by allowing people to imagine a world where that mascot is gone, the name is changed and see how people react to it".

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