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'Redskins Pride' social media campaign backfires

May 30, 2014 at 8:35 AM ET

Thursday, the NFL's Washington Redskins learned the hard way how a social media campaign can backfire.

Last week, 50 Democratic senators sent letters asking the NFL to change the team's name, calling it a "racial slur" against Native Americans. 

Video: The football team’s online campaign had unforeseen consequences after they asked fans to tweet about what the team meant to them with the hashtag #RedskinsPride. Tamron Hall reports from the Orange Room.

In response last Friday, Redskins president Bruce Allen sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of the most vocal of the name's opponents, defending the Redskins moniker. 

To back it up, the team launched a Twitter campaign asking fans to share their support using #RedskinsPride on Twitter.

Early responses were divided between support and opposition, as many Redskins fans jumped on board with the campaign.

However, the campaign began to turn south as the #RedskinsPride hashtag became a breeding ground for jokes at the team's expense and a place for users to express disapproval of the team's name.

So how did Reid's office feel about the backlash to the Redskins' social campaign? His digital director told the Washington Post "It's really made our day."