by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Redskins attempt last week to tweak Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who’d been calling for the team to change its name, by requesting fans to tweet-spam him using the hashtag #RedskinsPride, was undoubtedly received around the internet as a PR disaster.

A welcomed disaster, as folks around the web, major news outlets included, seized the team’s challenge to Reid as an opportunity to mock it for a litany of reasons, the team’s controversial nickname notwithstanding.

This was last Thursday, the fallout from which the Redskins were slow to respond.

Social media disaster?

Maybe not.

“The social media is the way people get information now, and our fans have spoken very loudly in support of what we’ve been doing,” said team president and general manager Bruce Allen to Jason Reid of the Washington Post. “We got a very good response from our fans.”

“Thousands of our fans responded, including hundreds of Native Americans, saying we are their favorite team. I do think that’s the message we’ve been hearing.”

This wasn’t the first the organization had elected to use that specific hashtag to promote a message.

In fact, despite it being used on multiple occasions to promote pro-name propaganda, including when it first appeared, via the team’s official account on Oct. 9, 2013 to disseminate Dan Snyder’s impassioned letter in support of the name, it has been used several times since for alternative means.

Here’s a brief history of #RedskinsPride:

However positive spin the team chooses to apply to its colossal social media gaffe, in urging fans to troll a United States senator, the fallout from it was undeniable, and the team, in a sense, muddied the waters of a hashtag previously perceived unanimously by fans as a rallying cry for team pride.

Largely, however fair or unfair, however expected or unexpected, and however politically or apolitically motivated, it now represents a source of embarrassment, begging the question: How long will the team’s relentless defense of #RedskinsPride remain?


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