Redskins cause online storm after awkward Thanksgiving tweet

Redskins cause online storm after awkward Thanksgiving tweet
​Washington, DC’s professional football team has been prone to controversy lately, to say the least, and a “Happy Thanksgiving” tweet from the official Redskins Twitter account this week isn’t making things any better.

The NFL team is once again taking heat, this time over a social media posting published on Thursday this week that was almost instantly panned by critics who consider the Redskins name to be offensive.

On Thursday, the team raised eyebrows by tweeting out to followers, “Happy Thanksgiving from the Redskins,” instantly drawing fire from opponents who called into question the organization’s eagerness to embrace the racial slur and its affiliated iconography during a day that many Americans, natives or not, associate with the mass genocide suffered at the hands of European settlers during the seventeenth century.

The micromessage was retweeted nearly 1,000 times within a day, but many social media users added their own commentary before passing the post along.

“[Y]’all just needed to skip this holiday, man. [G]o deadbeat dad with it, for we know self-awareness is too much,” tweeted new media personality Bomani Jones.

“Also: Happy Labor Day from Walmart,” ironically opined New Yorker editor Nicholas Thomas.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder had adamantly defended his team’s name in recent months in the midst of a rekindled campaign to ditch what the Huffington Post acknowledged is indeed a dictionary-defined racial slur for Native Americans. Notwithstanding a nationwide fight being waged by activists and attorneys to have the name nixed, Snyder and company have continued to stand by the name and the legacy they say comes with it.

“The more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community,” Snyder wrote in a letter earlier this year announcing the creation of the Redskins Original Americans Foundation, an organization he said will “provide resources that offer genuine opportunities for Tribal communities.”

“In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words.”

Reached by the Washington Post this week for comment on the backlash spawned by the Thanksgiving tweet, Redskin spokesman Tony Wyllie said, “I’m not aware of any backlash.”