A hashtag campaign launched by the Washington Redskins on Thursday completely derailed after it asked followers to tweet their #RedskinsPride to Nevada Sen. Harry Reid.
Redskins President Bruce Allen sent a letter to Mr. Reid last week defending the team's name and calling it "respectful" toward Native Americans. Several other players tweeted their support for keeping the name, prompting the team to start a Twitter campaign.
"Tweet @SenatorReid to show your #RedskinsPride and tell him what the team means to you," the team's account tweeted around 3 p.m. Thursday.
The response was swift. Within an hour, the tweet had already gained 235 retweets and 104 favorites. Some were supportive of the team's effort, but many of the responses expressed shock and disbelief. As we've seen before, hashtag campaigns almost always run the risk of backfiring.
"What could possibly go wrong?" tweeted Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
"#RedskinsPride means a proud tradition of racist owners, criminals as players, and a name that's a racial slur," wrote @DearLeader10.
"The team needs to changes its name already and get its fans out of this embarrassing quagmire. I'd like to talk football again," wrote @deuce4922.
"#RedskinsPride means doubling down and embracing team's racist history and racist name rather than moving to change it," wrote @CmradeQuestions.
"I'll be way more proud of my team if they do the right thing and Change The Name," wrote @RichmondOpus.
"When I think of #redskinspride I think of spitting in the face of all that is reasonable & humane & benevolent," wrote @__a_c_r__
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