redskinshoax

NFL players duped by Twitter hoaxer's porn star avatar

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It's not just high profile, Heisman candidate football players getting fooled by nonexistent girls on Twitter.

The National Football League announced earlier this week that four members of the Washington Redskins were recently duped by a woman on Twitter and Instagram pretending to be someone she wasn't.

This comes just weeks after Deadspin broke the story that Notre Dame star Manti T'eo's girlfriend Lennay Kekua, who had supposedly died of Leukemia, was not actually a real person. The hoax has been one of the bigger stories of 2013, and has led to the creation of a Manti Te'o photo meme, as well as a ridiculous video from Taiwanese studio New Media Animation.

According to an investigation conducted by NFL security, the hoaxer was a woman going by the pseudonym Sidney Ackerman who, through her now-defunct Twitter handle @RedRidnH00d managed to befriend four Redskins players. Prior to deleting her account, Ackerman had amassed more than 17,000 followers, which league officials claim "created a sense of legitimacy in the mind of the players."

The hoaxer lured the gullible athletes by using photos of C.J. Miles, an adult film actress, some of which she Photoshopped and personalized. On at least one occasion, Ackerman sent one of the players a pornographic video of Miles.

The football players tried on several occasions to arrange meetups with Ackerman, but none succeeded. One of the players found it suspicious that a beautiful woman on Twitter didn't want to meet with him— a rich athlete— and took it to the higher-ups. Eventually, Phillip Daniels, the Redskins' director of player development, discovered that Ackerman wasn't who she was claiming to be.

As a result, Daniels posted the following memo in the team's locker room:

Stay away from @RedRidnH00d. Avoid her on Twitter. Avoid her on Instagram. Do not converse with this person on any social media platform. She is not who she claims to be.

Aside from a couple of bruised egos, no real damage came from the hoax. Ackerman didn't ask anything from the players, nor did she issue any threats. Unlike Te'o, none of the athletes involved claimed to have fallen in love with the fictitious woman. Instead, they all stated that it was more of a physical attraction.

"If you think about it, a lot of them are single guys, and they see somebody who looks good in a picture or something," Daniels told NFL.com. "In many cases, it involves someone who is a fan of the team, so they'll start talking about the team."

"You have to recognize that something just isn't right. But you're talking about a lot of guys who are single. I don't fault the guys. I fault the people who were doing this crazy stuff, causing problems."

Curiously, the case of @RedRidnH00d wasn't an isolated incident. The same NFL.com story that reported the Redskins hoax described a second, unrelated Twitter account that was also using a photograph of Miles as her avatar. That account was also followed by 22 verified NFL players and 6 NBA players.

NFL.com approached @RideAndDieChick, the account in question, via Direct Message and confirmed that the individual behind it had had three separate Twitter conversations with well-known football players. @RideAndDieChick has since been deleted.

For her part, the real C.J. Miles is taking it all in stride, joking about the incident on Twitter.

"Since im all over #NFL news & felt sorry to the players who fall 4 impostors "wannabeme" gotta show #redskins some ♥," she tweeted on Thursday, along with a photo of her posing in a Redskins jersey.

She also poked fun at the hoaxed victims.

"So my Question is: Why these Players talkin to girls "online"?! Can they not get real girls in real life??? I mean theyr "Players" they shud have girls in every area code #nameannn.”

Photo via MissCJMiles/Twitter