— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 29, 2014
Today, the Washington Redskins football team tweeted an ill-advised plea for fans to tweet at Senator Harry Reid and show their #RedskinsPride. Reid, the Senate majority leader, has spoken out about the racism of the team’s name and is a big push behind the movement to change it.
However, as anyone with half-a-brain could have predicted, the hashtag backfired MAJORLY.
Instead, many fans used the opportunity to express their embarrassment at the leadership for a team they love.
@Redskins the team needs to changes its name already and get its fans out of this embarrassing quagmire. I’d like to talk football again.
— Newman, Ted (@deuce4922) May 29, 2014
This is an example of a social media FAIL. And it wasn’t just opening the door for fans to air their grievances but Native Americans hopped onto the hashtag to explain exactly why calling a team the “Redskins” in 2014 is outlandishly racist.
— Joy (@Chahta_Ishki) May 29, 2014
Others defend the hashtag and their team’s name, saying the rich history of the football team cancels out the racism of the name and that “Redskins” actually honors Native American tribes. Native Americans usually respond to being called “redskins” like this:
— Nono Musolino Fisher (@NonoFisher) May 29, 2014
So if the Redskins’ point was to troll Twitter, I guess they did a great job! But if their point was to somehow defend their racist name…eh. They just opened up the discussion even more.