In what seems like a wildly questionable public relations move, the Washington Redskins organization told its Twitter followers on Thursday to tweet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who last week signed a letter calling on the NFL to pressure owner Dan Snyder to change the team's name.
Not surprisingly, the strategy backfired, with people on Twitter mocking the #RedskinsPride campaign and flooding the team's timeline with snarky tweets.
The letter, signed by Reid and 49 other Democratic senators, said the NBA's recent decision to discipline Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his racist remarks should embolden the NFL to put pressure on Snyder.
"The despicable comments made by Mr. Sterling have opened up a national conversation about race relations," the letter addressed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reads. "We believe this conversation is an opportunity for the NFL to take action to remove the racial slur from the name of one of its marquee franchises."
In a letter responding to Reid, Redskins President Bruce Allen argued that "the term Redskins originated as a Native American expression of solidarity" and "continues to carry a deep and purposeful meaning"; the team's logo was designed by Native Americans; and "an overwhelming majority of Americans do not find the name offensive."