WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Washington Redskins organization took the name change controversy to a new level Thursday by soliciting fans to tweet Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, who’s demanding the name be changed, with what the team name means to them personally.
The Redskins instructed fans Thursday to tweet the Nevada Democrat to show their “RedskinsPride” and “tell him what the team means to you.”
Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 29, 2014
Fans did just that — but not always in a manner the Redskins would have preferred, taking control of the #RedskinsPride hashtag and using it in mockery of the organization. Many told Reid they support his efforts to change the name. Soon, both “RedskinsPride” and “changethename” were trending in the D.C. area.
Reid said last month that Redskins owner Dan Snyder should “do what is morally right” and change the name.
“How long will the NFL continue to do nothing — zero — as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?” Reid said on the U.S. Senate floor in April.
Last week, half of the Senate wrote letters to the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging a change, calling the name is a racist slur.
“Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” the letter reads. “It’s time for the NFL to endorse a name change for the Washington, D.C. football team.”
Days later, Redskins president Bruce Allen responded, offering some “important facts” on the history of the team’s name.
“More than a decade ago one of the foremost scholars of Native American languages, Smithsonian Institution senior linguist Ives Goddard, spent seven months researching the subject and concluded that the word ‘redskin’ originated as a Native American expression of solidarity by multi-tribal delegations that traveled to Washington to negotiate Native American national policies,” Allen said.
Owner Daniel Snyder has vowed never to change the name.
The Redskins also sent out a corresponding email to the team’s season ticket holders, with links to Sen. Reid’s Twitter handle, Facebook account and email address.