Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Featured

Go Washington Redhawks! Washington Redskins Hit with an Elaborate Culture Jam

Go Washington Redhawks! Washington Redskins Hit with an Elaborate Culture Jam

In the early morning hours on Wednesday, people opened their social media to find headlines like, “Dan Synder honors Native Americans, changes team name to Redhawks” and “Washington Redskins change name to Washington Redhawks“.  The on-line commentary followed in excitement with hopes that a long fought battle against the DC sports team had finally been won.

A little digging for additional source material though and one would find no other news pages reporting on or talking about what would certainly be headline news.

Social media and the Washington Redskins had been culture jammed with an elaborate effort that saw a fake Washington Redhawks web page, news article links and a press release.

Fake press release from page

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – On December 13th, The Washington football team franchise announced an updated team name and logo, coming Fall 2018.

The WASHINGTON REDHAWKS is a team 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.

The updated “Washington Redhawks” was inspired by team owner Dan Snyder’s deep admiration for Native Americans. “It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect—the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans.”

The hawk was chosen to represent the strength, speed and courage of the Washington Redhawks’ players. The iconic yellow circle, burgundy and gold were kept to commemorate the enduring legacy of the Washington football team.

“Everything people love about our team is still there. Football is about the players, it’s about the touchdowns, it’s about those exciting moments we all remember forever. Washington Football has always been about our loyal fans, who have rooted us on for 85 years. YOU are Washington football. This is still your team,” says Head Coach Jay Gruden.”

Several hours later the page released the following disclaimer on its web page, “This website is a parody and is not endorsed by the Washington football team, the NFL, Dan Snyder, or any of their affiliates because, in 2017, these people think it’s still OK to use a racial slur for their mascot. This website was created by Native advocates to help us all imagine how easy and powerful changing the mascot could be.”

The Rising Hearts Coalition would later identify themselves as being the group behind the action.  Read their press release here

Culture jamming is described as, “Culture jamming (sometimes guerrilla communication) is a tactic used by many anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt or subvert media culture and its mainstream cultural institutions, including corporate advertising. It attempts to “expose the methods of domination” of a mass society to foster progressive change.”

The group hopes its efforts will elevate the discussion and action in changing the DC football teams name.

by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)

Matt Remle (Lakota) is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire. @wakiyan7