Social media effort by Washington NFL team tackled in backlash - CBS46 News

Social media effort by Washington NFL team tackled in backlash

Posted: Updated:
The Washington professional football team’s request for support of its name caused an uproar on social media. (Source: Twitter/WJLA/CNN) The Washington professional football team’s request for support of its name caused an uproar on social media. (Source: Twitter/WJLA/CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (WJLA/TWITTER/CNN) – A firestorm follows a single tweet by the professional football team in the nation's Capitol.

It was supposed to be a campaign to drum up support for the team's name.

Bruce Allen, the team's president, has already fired back at Sen. Harry Reid, defending the team name and calling it respectful to Native Americans.

Then, just before 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, the organization tweeted, "Tweet @SenatorReid to show your #Redskins Pride and tell him what the team means to you."

And some fans were surprised by the tactic.

"If you use social media, you should be aware that it can backfire anytime," sports fan Michaela Wieser said.

"Once it's out there, it's difficult for you to put the spin you want on it," sports fan Camilo Sanim said.

Almost immediately, the Twittersphere was on fire with opponents even hijacking the hastag. Some of the tweets said, "#RedskinsPride...your name is a racial slur," or "no better example of how out-of-touch @Redskins are than the stupid #RedskinsPride thing. Welcome to the 21rst century #changethename."

"I don't know the rationale behind the choice to take this approach, but it obviously backfired," public relations expert Steve Simon said.

A spokesman for the football team pointed out that outpouring of support on the team's Facebook page, where more than 3,500 fans had commented.

Some of the support said, "Reid needs to worry about his own state, not another state's football team," and "Please just chill! Leave the name alone!"

"If you don't want to hear the other side of the story, that's not the medium to use," Simon said. "People are going to go not with just two sides of the story, but it's 360."

Copyright 2014 WJLA, Twitter via CNN. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
CBS Atlanta
Powered by WorldNow
All content © 2000-2014 WorldNow and WGCL-TV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.