WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Less than two weeks after the Washington Redskins hired leftward-leaning political blogger Ben Tribbett, to help guide the team’s efforts in preserving its controversial name, Tribbett has announced his intent to inform the team of his resignation.
Tribbett, 34, made clear those intentions Monday evening on Twitter.
The exact cause of Tribbett’s sudden and strange change of heart remains unclear at the moment.
Perhaps it was the discovery of perceived derogatory comments he’d reportedly made, with regard to a Native American man, on Twitter from a Las Vegas casino in 2010, according to Indian Country Today.
In the tweets, Tribbett claimed “an older native American guy just accused me of cheating and pulled some stuff out of his pocket to put some kind of spell on me,” later adding, “I’d call it a scalping but that seems uncalled for.”
Or, perhaps Tribbett’s resignation is the result of the realization he was largely responsible for the takedown of former Virginia Governor and Senator George Allen (brother to current Redskins general manager, Bruce Allen) along his 2006 senatorial reelection bid against Jim Webb.
At the time, a video had surfaced of remarks made by Allen at a campaign rally, in reference to a Democratic staffer employed to follow the Republican candidate’s campaign trail, according to Evan McMorris-Santoro, who identified that staffer as S.R. Sidarth, an American of Indian decent.
“This fellow over here, with the yellow shirt; Macaca, or whatever his name is; he’s with my opponent; he’s following us around everywhere,” Allen said in the video, published Aug. 15, 2006.
“Let’s give a welcome to Macaca, here,” Allen later said. “Welcome to America, and the real world of Virginia.”
An internet archival tool called “Wayback Machine” places comments attributed to Tribbett’s since-scrubbed blog, admonishing Allen for his use of the “derogatory and very prejudiced term.”
“I don’t care if it was a joke or not. I’ve been arguing for two weeks on here that Macaca is a racial slur- and the Washington Post has agreed 42 times in the past two weeks according to this search,” reads one blog post, dated Aug. 31, 2006. “Racial slurs are not funny things to joke about.”
“If you don’t know it, macaca is a derogatory and very prejudiced term used in Tunisia in reference to blacks and dark-skinned people…,” the blog post, dated Nov. 15, 2006, reads. “I can bet you, he knew exactly what he meant when he called the guy “macaca”.”
You can read more in-depth coverage of Tribbett’s strong opinions toward Allen here, via Kinja user BruiseViolent.
Only one week ago, Tribbett had seemed primed to take on the mounting pressure for the team to change its name with the full confidence and perceived understanding of political pressure, having cut his teeth as one of the foremost political bloggers in the state of Virginia, with his personal blog, ‘Not Larry Sabato,’ the record of which had mysteriously been scrubbed from the internet upon the announcement of his hiring.
Tribbett had called the onslaught of pressure for the team to change its name “mostly sort of a PC campaign,” last week on 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny Show.
Whatever Tribbett’s reason for resignation — maybe it was his personal usage of disparaging remarks, his highlighting of someone else’s, or some combination of the two — his hiring, paired with his subsequent and sudden withdrawal from employment neither bodes well for the team or its fight to control the message, in yet the latest blow delivered to the organization’s defense of its increasingly controversial name.