Reid sent the letter to Redskins owner Dan Synder in the hopes that congressional pressure would force a name change for the franchise. The Redskins responded with a move that is being called a public relations disaster. The team went to Twitter in an attempt to gain support for keeping the name.
@Redskins: "Tweet @SenatorReid to show your #RedskinsPride and tell him what the team means to you."
Fans of the Redskins and from around the league did indeed respond, but not in the way the team expected or hoped...
@MattBinder: "Racism. #RedskinsPride @redskins @senatorreid"
@Jake_Jenssen: "@Redskins @SenatorReid 300 years of institutional racism and genocide? #RedskinsPride"
@MBJohnston12:" @Redskins and @HarryReid! To me #redskinspride is about normalizing overt racism in the 21st century. Did I do this right @Redskins ?"
There were thousands of tweets using the #RedskinsPride... not all condemned the the name or the social media push... but most did. The common argument in support of keeping the name was that it was "tradition" and the name has been there, "for so long." Is this a good argument for keeping a potentially racist, offensive racial stereotype? Are the Atlanta Braves or the Cleveland Indians next?