The Washington Redskins' official Twitter account tried a new social media strategy on Thursday: trolling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid is one of many who believe the team's controversial name is offensive to Native Americans and should be changed. Presumably hoping to get diehard Redskins fans to defend the team name on Twitter, those running the account posted a hashtag and urged the franchise's supporters to tell Reid what the moniker means to them.
It didn't take long for it to backfire.
Here's the tweet:
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 29, 2014
Here's just a sampling of some of the tweets that followed, ripping the team and its campaign.
The only conclusion that I can come to is that the @Redskins twitter wants to make their fanbase look like racist, unsympathetic dickheads.
— chad dukes (@chaddukes) May 29, 2014
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) May 29, 2014
I'm glad I'm a fan of the Bengals, an incompetent but racism-free football team. #RedskinsPride
— Scott Keyes (@smkeyes) May 29, 2014
— sarah (@sarahrodeo) May 29, 2014
— Celticfeminist (@celticfeminist) May 29, 2014
— Matthew (@Iscariot_XIII) May 29, 2014
— Jennie Bea (@IndigeniusIdeas) May 29, 2014
— chrismchaines (@chrismchaines) May 29, 2014
— maco (@maco_nix) May 29, 2014
— Eric Haywood (@Eric_Haywood) May 29, 2014
— paulscan (@paulscan) May 29, 2014
— Cameron Brenchley (@chbrenchley) May 29, 2014
— Gary Legum (@YeDevolutionist) May 29, 2014
— Marc Torrence (@marctorrence) May 29, 2014
— Ioneenknoyo (@DubJ) May 29, 2014
— Bill (@bflip33) May 29, 2014
— Jonathan Bernhardt (@jonbernhardt) May 29, 2014
— Sean O'Leary (@stholeary) May 29, 2014
UPDATE: Reid's digital director, Faiz Shakir, told Dan Steingberg of the Washington Post that the Redskins' Twitter campaign "really made our day."
What we saw was a collective, overwhelming outpouring that was heavily critical of the team. I hope that causes the organization to reflect on why that occurred," Shakir said.