We, Marshall Stevenson and Jeff Stevenson at WinnipegWhiteOut.com want to offer our sincere and heartfelt apologies to anyone that was mislead by our story relating to the naming of the Winnipeg NHL as the Whiteout. So often you have people make excuses for their actions and not own up to things but that’s not what we’re going to do here.
We made a mistake.
Like any of you reading this, we are fans first and foremost and after reading about the trademark being placed on “Whiteout” from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logo site, we took advantage. We knew that this was not going to be the name as we figured if it was we wouldn’t have been able to purchase our domain name when we did. The trademark request took place before we registered our domain on May 31.
We thought we could maybe stir up some interesting conversation and truly see how outraged the fans of Winnipeg would be if we built off this story. Could we have done it differently? Of course. Was the story we ran the best way? Probably not. But it did get conversation going, and even had CTV do a report that the team would not be named the Whiteout even showing the obviously fake jerseys from the story.
We wanted to make the story believable to get your true reactions, while at the same time leaving more than enough hints to show that this was not a real story. The clip art logo, simplistic ugly jerseys, and of course the note at the end in a light gray. It’s visible but easily skipped over when you’re reading a story that makes you emotional.
We wrote this story the night the Trademark story broke and scheduled it to post first thing the next morning. Sunday we set out to prove that the trademark had no bearing on the eventual name. When you dig deeper into the copyright information that Chris Creamer looked up, you’ll find no evidence that would support the original speculation.
Once again we state that we are fans, we are not getting paid to do this. We made a decision to deceive you to see what the reactions would be if it were true. Neither of us want this Winnipeg team to be named anything but the Jets. If you look through the names you will see both our names on the Jets name Petition that is circulating around, and encourage you to sign it as well.
What we did find interesting from this “experiment” was that some people not only accepted the change but actually liked it. We thought and fully expected no one to get on board with the name or believe it was actually a possibility. Perhaps we underestimated the effect we had and may have lost. We had no clue it would ever get this big.
Addressing one of our posters comments, Scott Brodie writes “Wow this site just lost all credibility with this. I let it go when you pretended to “find” that Evander Kane interview, without crediting the radio show who did the interview, or my site which has the first to post it (After the host send it to me). But this is just sad. Sorry.”
The day the announcement was made we saw the link to the Kane interview on Twitter. It was the first day our site was up. We’re not ashamed to say we put it up there because we wanted more people to hear it as we knew the excitement all of us felt with the NHL back in Winnipeg. We did not take the time (as we should have) to look up the source. You have our sincere apology on this matter.
One thing we can promise you is that we shall ensure that credit is given to those who deserve it and shall only report stories that we believe to be credible and truthful going forward. We shall also look for the facts to disprove any theories out there or rumors that we believe to be untruthful as well. That is our public statement to correct our wrong.
Our goal is to provide you with reliable information, when we don’t we’ll apologize, learn from our mistakes, correct it and move on. As always we urge you to comment and question us. We’ll do our best to answer.
In this case we just made a bad judgment call and sure it’s severely hurt our credibility as a reliable source but we also found the information to disprove the Whiteout rumors before anyone else did, not just the opinion that it wasn’t true but the facts and why it wouldn’t be the name.
One right doesn’t fix a wrong but hopefully with this sincere and honest post, we’ll start to mend that bond and over time you will see that we will be a credible source.
We would also like to apologize directly to Mr. Chipman, Mr. Thomson, Mr. Brown and the entire TNSE organization. We put words in their mouth that they didn’t say and have learned a valuable lesson in journalism. We’re also happy that they were available to the traditional media to refute the claims me made and are sorry for taking up their Sunday.
If anyone has anything they would like to comment on or ask us about this topic please do so and we’ll be happy to reply to all your responses as soon as we can.
Sincerely, Jeff and Marshall.