A Twitter-based publicity stunt by the Washington Redskins intended to pour cold water on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's push to get the football club to drop is nickname backfired Thursday, as many fans instead called an audible and tweeted agreement with the Nevada Democrat.
The team, using its official Twitter account, asked fans to tweet Reid to "show your #RedskinsPride and tell him what the team means to you." But the hashtag instead became a depository for negative comments aimed at the club and the nickname, which many -- including Reid -- say is offensive to American Indians.
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Reid, who has been increasingly vocal in his opposition to the Redskins nickname, wrote NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this month to urge the league to endorse a name change for the team. The letter was signed by 49 other Senate Democrats.
Redskins President Bruce Allen shot back at Reid, saying in a letter to the senator last week that his team "is a positive, unifying force for our community in a city and region that is divided on so many levels."
Allen added that "the term Redskins originated as a Native American expression of solidarity" and that the team's logo was designed by Native Americans.