Online hoax dupes internet, introduces 'Washington Redhawks' to NFL

Online hoax dupes internet, introduces 'Washington Redhawks' to NFL

This website promoted the Redhawks name change, linked to social media accounts promoting the new team name, and hosted fake stories about the name change.

Native American advocates launched an elaborate hoax on Wednesday, creating authentic-looking web pages of major media that purported to report that the National Football League's Washington Redskins had changed their name to the Redhawks. The team's tagline is "A mascot everyone can cheer for".

"The Franchise is proud to be a leader in bringing people together in the DMV and in our country during a time of growing divisions".

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

A page created to look like an exact replica of the Washington Post declared "Native Leaders Celebrate a Victory as Washington Football Changes Mascot to the Redhawks", but a closer look at the site's URL reveals that it's not a genuine article.

Online hoax dupes internet, introduces 'Washington Redhawks' to NFL
Online hoax dupes internet, introduces 'Washington Redhawks' to NFL

The release contained a new logo for the team as well as some quotes from Jay Gruden.

The group, named Rising Hearts, is composed of members of several tribes, the Washington Post reported.

Rebecca Nagle from the Cherokee Nation and one of the organizers sent a statement on the action. "What we're asking for only changes four letters". "We collectively have eliminated over 2,000 of these so-called Native names, logos, symbols, images, mascots and behaviour from the USA sports landscape". The activists behind the online action, Rising Hearts, are hosting an in-person press conference in DC this Thursday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.at the George Preston Marshall Monument in front of RFK Stadium. Earlier this year, The Washington Post, conducted a poll in which it found that of more than 500 Native American people polled, 90 percent of them weren't offended by the team name.

The Coalition is calling on supporters to join a rally at FedEx Field where the team now plays this Sunday.

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