In elaborate hoax, websites say NFL Redskins renamed as Redhawks

In elaborate hoax, websites say NFL Redskins renamed as 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.

In fact, the hoax gained so much traction that the Redskins - yes, the Redskins - issued a statement regarding the issue Wednesday afternoon.

The group created fake pages for the websites of the Washington Post, Bleacher Report, ESPN and Sports Illustrated, taking great pains to make them look like real pages for each outlet, and many people were convinced the news was real.

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

"We created this action to show the NFL and the Washington Football franchise how easy, popular and powerful changing the name could be", Rebecca Nagle of the Cherokee Nation said in a news release that identified her as "one of the organizers of the stunt".

In elaborate hoax, websites say NFL Redskins renamed as Redhawks

The group created several fake websites - including one that mimicked the Redskins' official webpage - that soon circulated the internet, saying Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder had announced his team's controversial nickname would be changed to the "Redhawks".

Each said the team name would be switched to Redhawks starting in the 2018 season. The story, entitled "Go Washington Redhawks!" was formatted similarly to the stories that appear on the team's official website.

The fake press release included quotes from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and coach Jay Gruden.

"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. "What we're asking for only changes four letters".

The Coalition apologized for the disappointment and confusion many would be feeling learning the team name had not been changed.

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