Everyone was taken by a surprise when the name ‘Washington RedHawks’ came to the surface, as it was a nicely wrapped up gift, ready to blow. After so much scandal, violence, and racism, there was a glimmer of hope, but it all turned out to be just a ruse.
As many of the headlines stated, “The Washington Football team decided to ditch their controversial name, as they rebrand themselves to the Washington RedHawks.” The stories about this controversial topic were everywhere, but as many have predicted, this was all fake news.
One could even say that this was a well-organized and even better executed online action, from the Alliance of American Indian Activists, who were trying to bring another racist issue to the light, which is found in the National football league.
What really happened?
Last year, the football fans got a random news spread, where it stated that the Washington Redskins decided to throw away their racist name, for something a bit more appropriate, as they enter the 2018 season, The Washington RedHawks. If you were to search for ‘RedHawks’ in Google, at that time, you would be overwhelmed with all the articles pointing out this change.
Everyone who would visit their site would be welcomed by a statement that their name has officially changed to the Washington RedHawks. As we all know now, this was just “fake news”, but the Washington RedHawks is still known as a culture jam that was created by a Native American group, who wanted to draw the attention to their original name controversy.
So, on December 13, 2017, this Native American group, called the Rising Hearts, created a couple of real-looking sites as well as a Twitter campaign, which stated that the known team, the Washington Redskins, decided to change their name to the Washington RedHawks, for the upcoming 2018 season.
Since the news articles looked quite realistic on the outside and even included one of the teams and several news outlets, everyone believed that it was the truth… for a short period. The organizers of this have described their act as the culture jamming, and state that they want to stimulate debate as they would like the name to actually be changed.
What was the response?
Soon after, the Washington Redskins posted a message to all their visitors, on their site, and stated that the Redskins organization was made aware of the fraudulent sites about the name of their team. However, their name is, and will always be the Washington Redskins.
Some said that this was all just fake news or a parody that was not supposed to be taken seriously. The reactions from Native Americans and the public varied quite a bit, as some took it seriously and felt betrayed when it came out as a hoax.
The goal of the campaign
When the news was revealed to be fake, the activists came forward to explain what their real intentions were. They stated that the goal of their campaign was to simply prove that changing the name would be something quite powerful, popular and easy. As Native Americans had to fight out the argument of why the name should be changed, with this campaign they were able to efficiently flip the script.
This was all planned months before when they saw the NFL players taking a knee, as the activists started purchasing web domains that could resemble news and sports news outlets. With a bit of make-up and touchups, they were able to create sites that looked incredibly real at first glance, which is why many fans thought that this was all real, at first.
The reason behind this campaign is pretty simple, as the organizer Nick Courtney shared. It was their main attention to tell the fans that this is all just “fake news” sooner or later because the point of this campaign was to steer the conversation among everyone in the community and just all people about the controversial name. With that said, it is quite obvious that their mission was executed successfully.
Xclub cams and more fake news
At some point, more rumors were spreading, but this time it was about the popular site XClubCams. For those who do not know, XClub Cams is an adult website hosting all kinds of live cam performances, where individual models and couples, are free to provide different kinds of legal nude or sexual activities. Those activities can range from a simple striptease to intercourse.
The site allows all their viewers to enjoy everything the cam models have to offer for free. Even though they are free, they are earning their revenue by taking about 40% of what the models earn, as well as from the audience when they purchase the webcam currency.
Not long after the “Washington RedHawks” fake news, the Xclubcams news started to circulate as well. The news articles were posted, stating that the Xclubcams site wanted to become a part of the Washington Redskins, which came as a surprise to many fans as it was quite ‘out of the blue’. Xclubcams wanted to pay to have their name printed on shirts, and carried by the team. After this was posted, it blew up in a day, and there were a lot of mixed responses.
Eventually, the fans decided to start an online petition for and against the idea, but after it all blew up and became insanely popular, everyone connected it to the “Washington RedHawks” and it was seen as just “fake news”. No response was given from the Xclubcams site itself, so whether this was all another hoax or not, is still unknown; but the majority of fans think that this was just a jab at the previous events.