WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- Despite the requests and protests of Native American activists, religious leaders, and civil rights groups, despite the urging of a majority of the U.S. Senate, several past and present NFL players, and even the president, the Washington Redskins have refused to change their team's name.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has repeatedly publicly chastised the team for its racist mascot in an effort to encourage the franchise to change its name.
Bruce Allen, the Redskins' general manager and recently appointed team president, sent the senator a letter last week defending the name and calling it "respectful" toward the Native American population, despite plenty of Native American groups having made it clear they disagree and find the term offensive.
Thursday, the Redskins' PR team decided to start a hashtag campaign on Twitter to show Senator Reid the support that existed for keeping the name and mascot.
It did not go well.
There social media backlash was immediate and sarcastic.
One Dakota woman wrote:
and then shamed the team with this example of the archaic use of their name in the execution of her ancestors.
Even fans of the team joined in calling for the mascot to be changed.
@Redskins the team needs to changes its name already and get its fans out of this embarrassing quagmire. I'd like to talk football again.— Newman, Ted (@deuce4922) May 29, 2014
A few fans came to the team's defense, name and all, but they were a tiny minority compared to the detractors.
The Redskins Twitter feed has continued to post photos of players but has been silent on the matter of the name change since the initial #RedskinsPride tweet.