Since the Justice Department absitively in June to aback abroad from a acknowledged activity over the Washington Redskins’ nickname, the football aggregation agitated on with its season. It won a few games, absent a few more, and the affair was abundantly dormant.
But on Wednesday admirers were greeted with web pages from what appeared to be accepted annual sources touting a hasty name change, adage the Redskins had angled to political burden and would instead be alleged the Redhawks alpha abutting year.
It was football’s circuit on affected news, but the websites, created by an accord of American Indian activists, were acceptable abundant to fool some and attract abounding others to allotment the links on amusing media, reigniting the appellation controversy.
“The point of this was to alpha the chat again,” said Sebastian Medina-Tayac, one of the organizers abaft the stunt, in a blast interview. “This is an affair that comes up actual dramatically. Bodies absolutely affliction about it and again article abroad hits the annual aeon or the aggregation does some PR gymnastics and array of squirms their way out of adverse it arch on. We capital to accomplish it actual and burning by acceptance bodies to brainstorm a apple area that amulet is gone, the name is afflicted and see how bodies acknowledge to it.”
The busy attack included a Twitter annual and bristles carefully-crafted Web pages. One of the pages carefully resembled the Redskins’ official website, but featured a bittersweet and gold logo of a militarist head, not the accustomed Redskins logo.
The Redskins bound took apprehension and issued a account reaffirming their charge to the nickname. “This morning, the Redskins alignment was fabricated acquainted of counterfeit websites about our aggregation name,” Tony Wyllie, the Redskins’ chief carnality admiral of communications, said in a account beatific via email. “The name of the aggregation is the Washington Redskins and will abide that for the future.”
Wyllie said the amount had been forwarded to the alliance office. A agent for the NFL did not anon acknowledgment a appeal for comment.
The added pages resembled the annual sites of The Washington Post, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report and featured affected annual belief accompanying to the declared name change, citation names of absolute bodies including activists, politicians, fans, Redskins Coach Jay Gruden and aggregation buyer Daniel Snyder.
Organizers say they had not been asked by the aggregation or any outlets to booty bottomward the sites. An ESPN agent said: “We are acquainted of the armpit and are exploring our acknowledged options to assure our bookish property.”
Kris Coratti, carnality admiral of communications at The Post, said: “We accept the use of our bookish acreage in this way is inappropriate and we are belief our acknowledged options.”
The accumulation abaft the attack is alleged Rising Hearts and is composed of associates of several tribes. Abounding accept no academic affiliation to accomplished efforts to change the name, and the organizers say they were afraid by the acknowledgment online and how bound the links advance on amusing media.
“It demonstrates that the change that advocates accept been allurement for is not that big of a deal,” said Rebecca Nagle, a affiliate of the Cherokee Nation. “You can accumulate the colors, accumulate the iconic things about Washington football. All we are allurement for is four letters. For all the abuse that the amulet does adjoin Native people, one affair the activity did today was accomplish bright how baby the fix is for a botheration that is such a big accord to so abounding people.”
The activists plan to authority a annual appointment on Thursday in Washington and a assemblage on Sunday at FedEx Field, afore the Redskins host the Arizona Cardinals.
“We charge to see now how we can accomplish a viral amusing media attack about-face into a viral concrete movement,” said Medina-Tayac, “where bodies appearance up, put their time on the line, their bodies on the bandage to angle adjoin article that’s unjust.”
Snyder has alleged the aggregation appellation a “badge of honor” and has vowed to never change it. But the name has been a alienated affair for several years, aesthetic fans, activists, associates of the media and politicians. Washington Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has announced adjoin it, and in 2013 the burghal board anesthetized a resolution advancement the aggregation to change the name, calling it ““racist and derogatory.”
The organizers say they accept no illusions that Snyder ability be abiding by an online campaign, but Wednesday’s efforts ability admonish the NFL that for abounding American Indians, the affair isn’t activity away.
“Dan Snyder has fabricated it abundantly bright that he alone is not activity to change the name,” Nagle said. “I absolutely anticipate the NFL needs to footfall in.”
Until Wednesday’s online campaign, efforts to advance for a name change had been mostly quiet in contempo months. The Justice Department had been arduous the team’s brand until the Supreme Court’s June cardinal in favor of an Asian American bandage that alleged itself the Slants, which signaled to abounding that the Redskins would abound over any efforts to abolish the team’s trademarks.
The activity was months in the making, bringing calm activists who’d ahead formed on a array of American Indian and ecology issues, including the Standing Rock protests beforehand this year.
“This is not a hoax or a prank,” said Medina-Tayac, a affiliate of the Piscataway tribe. “It’s an acclimation accomplishment that was meant to authenticate the adjacency and the actual absolute charge for the Washington football aggregation to change its names. We’re aloof proposing an another that a lot of bodies assume aflame about.”
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