Redskins Allegedly Hire Crisis Management Firm to Build ‘Fan-based’ Website


The Redskins have hired a PR firm to help them continue to drown out the Native (and other’s) voice against their team’s name. Deadspin via Slate, is reporting that the new website,, was allegedly brought to life by a firm known for their crisis management capabilities.

The site claims it is made up of a community of “passionate Washington Redskins fans and others who support the team's use of its name and logo." Also on the site’s homepage is a quote from Don Wetzel, Blackfeet: “An Indian from the State of Montana created that logo, and did it the right way.”

However, Slate’s investigation of the site found out that:

This new, probably-not-grassroots website also appears to be part of a PR operation. This one bears the fingerprints of Burson-Marsteller, a communications firm best known for its crisis management services. Burson-Marsteller has done PR work for, among many others, the manufacturer of the Three Mile Island plant, Johnson & Johnson (in the wake of early-1980s Tylenol poisonings), and military contractor Blackwater USA. The firm's crisis management page also notes "The Lady Gaga Concert Debacle" as a representative case study.

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Press conferences during the NFL team’s training camp have featured promotion of the site on its conference screens.

Tony Wyllie, the team’s spokesman, was asked who was financing the site. “The alumni and the Redskins have a long history of supporting each other and this education effort is no different,” Wyllie explained via email to Slate. “So where it is appropriate for the alumni to pay for expenses then they will and when it is appropriate for the Redskins then the organization will. Since it is so early in the education effort there is no easy breakdown available.”

You can read more about Slate’s investigation here.


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