Tags: washington redskins | name | change | hoax

Washington Redskins Name Change Hoax Defended by Activists

Washington Redskins Name Change Hoax Defended by Activists

(Dean Bertoncelj/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 14 December 2017 06:51 AM

A Washington Redskins name change hoax was convincing enough to fool many on social media in an attempt by American Indian activists to renew controversy about the NFL football team, The Washington Post reported.

The alliance of activists pulled off the stunt with a fake Twitter account and bogus webpages, one carefully resembling the team's own home website, that announced the Redskins name was changing to the Redhawks.

The activists claimed the end -- calling attention to their issue -- justified the means, fake news.

Fake websites were made to look like legitimate sites of the Washington Post, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report and featured fake news stories related to the supposed name change, citing names of real people including activists, politicians, fans, Redskins coach Jay Gruden and team owner Daniel Snyder, the Post reported.

In 1997, Miami University in Ohio changed its name from the Redskins to the RedHawks, giving the fake news some ring of familiarity.

The spoof took in many numerous people on social media.

The Redskins, though, squashed the hoax with a message on its real website.

"This morning, the Redskins organization was made aware of fraudulent websites about our team name," a statement from the Redskins said Wednesday, per the real ESPN. "The name of the team is the Washington Redskins and will remain that for the future."

The team's senior vice president of communications, Tony Wyllie, told the Post that the matter had been moved to the NFL front office.

Sebastian Medina-Tayac, one of the organizers behind the hoax, according to the Post, was unapologetic for fooling the public.

"The point of this was to start the conversation again," Medina-Tayac told the newspaper. "This is an issue that comes up very dramatically. People really care about it and then something else hits the news cycle or the team does some PR gymnastics and sort of squirms their way out of facing it head on. 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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A Washington Redskins name change hoax was convincing enough to fool many on social media in an attempt by American Indian activists to renew controversy about the NFL football team.
washington redskins, name, change, hoax
454
2017-51-14
Thursday, 14 December 2017 06:51 AM
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