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NFL: Redskins deny name change after hoax

By AFP
media The Washington Redskins have denied that they plan to change their name, which many feel is a racial slur toward Native Americans, saying that reports they would do so came from "fraudulent websites" GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

The Washington Redskins on Wednesday denied that they were changing their name in a statement responding to "fraudulent websites" that said the moniker some find offensive would go.

"This morning, the Redskins organization was made aware of fraudulent websites about our team name," the NFL franchise said in a statement. "The name of the team is the Washington Redskins and will remain that for the future."

The Washington Post reported that an alliance of American Indian activists launched several online web pages disguised as news outlets falsely claiming the team had bowed to pressure and changed their name to the Redhawks.

At least five web pages -- some of them mimicking legitimate sports news sites such as ESPN.com and Bleacher Report -- and a Twitter account were included in the campaign, and the links were widely shared on social media.

Rebecca Nagle, co-director of the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center and one of the organizers of the campaign, told USA Today that the goal was to "draw attention to reaffirm that there's an overwhelming mountain of evidence that the name is offensive and is harmful to Native American people".

The US capital's NFL club has come under fire in recent years for its reluctance to consider changing the name that many feel is a racial slur toward Native Americans.

Redskins' owner Dan Snyder, who has refused to consider changing the nickname, insists it's a tribute to Native Americans.

 
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