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The Washington Redhawks was a media parody/satire created by a group of Native Americans to draw attention to the Washington Redskins name controversy.

Contents

1 Action 2 Response 3 Parody websites 4 References

Action[edit] On December 13, 2017 a Native American group, Rising Hearts, created several authentic-appearing websites and a twitter campaign[1], that seemed to announce that the Washington Redskins had agreed to change its name to the Washington Redhawks for the 2018 season. The sites included one for the team[parody 1], and for several news outlets: the Washington Post[parody 2], ESPN[parody 3], Sports Illustrated[parody 4] and the Bleacher Report[parody 5].[2][3][4] After an initial period, a disclaimer was posted on each spoofed page with a link to a press release explaining the group's action. The organizers describe their tactic as culture jamming, and state that their intention is to stimulate debate that will eventually lead to an actual name change.[5] Rather than presenting the continued hostility of the debate, their action provided an opportunity for change advocates to write about the positive responses and outcomes that would follow the change.[6] Rising Hearts Coalition includes Rebecca Nagle (Cherokee Nation), Sebastian Medina-Tayac (Piscataway), Valarie Marie Proctor (Cedarville Band of Piscataway), Jair Carrasco, (Aymara), Lindsay Rodriguez (Cheyenne Arapaho), Jordan Marie Daniel (Kul Wicasa Oyate) and Nick Courtney (Makah).[7] Response[edit] The Washington Redskins posted a message on their own web site stating: "This morning, the Redskins organization was made aware of fraudulent websites about our team name. The name of the team is the Washington Redskins and will remain that for the future."[8] At a news conference the following day the organizers of Rising Hearts stated that their effort was satire or parody, and were surprised that the Redskins issued a statement denying any plans to change, as if it were serious, or "fake news".[9] Reaction to the "culture jam" was varied among Native Americans depending upon whether the action was taken seriously or recognized for what it was. Some who took it seriously were elated, then felt betrayed when they found out it was not true.[10] However, the action was supported by some long-time activists on the issue including Suzan Shown Harjo and Jacqueline Keeler, who agreed that it served to stimulate new attention.[11] In an interview, the organizers took exception to the framing of their action as a "hoax", which has negative connotations of intending to mislead, which was not their intent.[12] Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell wrote based upon his experience when his alma mater, Amherst College, changed its mascot in 2016 from "Lord Jeff" to the "Mammoths". Although he was as attached to his team's mascot as any fan, he understood the reason for the change, and got over it quickly. The reason was letters that were discovered revealing that Lord Jeffery Amherst had advocated the use of smallpox-infected blankets as a weapon against Native Americans not to defeat, but to exterminate them. "Nicknames such as the Lord Jeffs and the Redskins are two illustrations of the same issue. In the beginning, no one means any harm. But once you know better, and don’t change, that’s when the harm starts."[13] Boswell later explained that while dropping the team nickname, which was never official, was no big deal; changing the name of the town and college also named for the same person would be difficult.[14] In Forbes, Demetrius Bell compliments the creators, stating "The best part of any hoax is ultimately how believable the hoax could be and from top to bottom, this is one of the more believable hoaxes that you'll see. If the team did indeed make the incredibly shocking decision to change their nickname and logo, then it wouldn't be a huge shock to see them go the conservative route with a change as relatively simple as this."[15] Parody websites[edit]

^ "Go Washington Redhawks!". washingtonredhawks.com. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.  ^ "Native Leaders Celebrate a Victory as Washington Football Changes Mascot to the Redhawks". washpostsports.com. Archived from the original on December 16, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.  ^ "Dan Snyder honors Native Americans, changes team mascot to Washington Redhawks". espnsports.news. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.  ^ "Washington Football Ditches Controversial Name for Redhawks". sportsillustrated.news. December 13, 2017. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.  ^ "Washington Redskins Will Change Name to Washington Redhawks". bleacherreport.news. Archived from the original on December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017. 

References[edit]

^ "#GoRedhawks". twitter.com. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.  ^ Rick Maese (December 13, 2017). "American Indian activists seek to rekindle debate on Redskins nickname". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 13, 2017.  ^ Travis Waldron (December 13, 2017). "Native American Activists Create Spoof Website To Call For Redskins Name Change". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 13, 2017.  ^ Staff (December 13, 2017). "Fake websites that say Redskins changed name make rounds". The Washington Times. Retrieved December 17, 2017.  ^ Benjamin Freed (December 13, 2017). "How a Group of Native American Activists Used Fake News to Push for a Redskins Name Change". The Washingtonian. Retrieved December 13, 2017.  ^ David Roth (December 13, 2017). "Amazing Online Hoax Welcomes "Washington RedHawks" To The NFL". Deadspin. Retrieved December 15, 2017.  ^ Kevin Abourezk (December 13, 2017). "Native activists go viral with 'Redhawks' campaign aimed at NFL team's racist mascot". Retrieved December 17, 2017.  ^ "Statement from the Washington Redskins". Retrieved December 15, 2017.  ^ Samantha Pell (December 14, 2017). "'Washington Redhawks' organizers claim success, say articles were satire, not 'fake news'". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2017.  ^ Dave Zirin (December 19, 2017). "The Washington Redhawks Culture Jam: Jacqueline Keeler joins the show to talk native mascotry" (Podcast). The Nation. Retrieved December 20, 2017.  ^ Tyler Tynes (December 20, 2017). "Inside the Washington Redhawks internet hoax, and the latest fight to eliminate a racial slur". Retrieved December 20, 2017.  ^ Katie Toth (December 19, 2017). "Rising Hearts Protesters on Why They 'Changed' the Washington NFL Team Name to the 'Redhawks'". Teen Vogue. Retrieved December 20, 2017.  ^ Thomas Boswell (December 14, 2017). "Changing a nickname seems like a seismic shift, but it's rarely a Mammoth deal". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2017.  ^ "Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports". The Washington Post. December 18, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.  ^ Demetrius Bell (December 15, 2017). "The Washington Redhawks Hoax Is Actually A Well-Executed Concept Design". Forbes. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 

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Native American mascot controversy

Washington Redskins

Name controversy Redskin (slang) Name change advocates Trademark dispute Opinion Polls Original Americans Foundation Chief Zee Washington Redhawks

Other professional sports teams

Atlanta Braves

Chief Noc-A-Homa

Chicago Blackhawks

Name and logo controversy

Cleveland Indians

Name and logo controversy Chief Wahoo

Edmonton Eskimos Kansas City Chiefs

College teams

NCAA Native American mascot decision Chief Illiniwek Osceola and Renegade North Dakota athletics

Fighting Sioux name controversy

San Diego State Aztec Warrior List of college teams

Youth and school teams

Sports teams named Redskins List of secondary school teams

Change advocates

Amanda Blackhorse Gregg Deal Stephanie Fryberg Suzan Shown Harjo Adrienne Keene Jacqueline Keeler Robert Roche

Related

Native American mascot laws and regulations List of teams Stereotypes about indigenous peoples of North America Contemporary Native American issues in the United States Cultural appropriation Indigenous intellectual property Redface

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Washington Redskins

Founded in 1932 Formerly the Boston Braves (1932) and Boston Redskins (1933–36) Based in Landover, Maryland Headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia

Franchise

Franchise History Seasons Players Coaches First-round draft picks Draft Starting quarterbacks Broadcasters

Stadiums

Braves Field Fenway Park Griffith Stadium RFK Stadium FedExField

Culture

Redskins Band "Hail to the Redskins" Hogettes Cheerleaders Chief Zee Joe Gibbs Team name controversy

Name change advocates Trademark dispute Opinion polls Original Americans Foundation "Go Fund Yourself" (South Park episode)

Lore

Redskins 0, Bears 73 The Hogs The Fun Bunch The Over-the-Hill Gang The Body Bag Game Redskins Rule Ricky Williams trade

Rivalries

Dallas Cowboys New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles

Division championships (14)

1936 1937 1940 1942 1943 1945 1972 1983 1984 1987 1991 1999 2012 2015

Conference championships (5)

1972 1982 1983 1987 1991

League championships (5)

1937 1942 1982 (XVII) 1987 (XXII) 1991 (XXVI)

Hall of Fame players

Battles Baugh Dudley Edwards Green Grimm Hanburger Houston Huff D. Jones S. Jones Jurgensen Krause Millner Mitchell Monk Riggins Smith Taylor

All-time leaders

Passing Receiving Rushing Kick and punt returning

Current league affiliations

League: National Football League Conference: National Football Conference Division: East Division

Seasons (86)

1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Championship sea

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