In social media, passions run high. In sports, passions run even higher. Recently, a social media fire storm has flamed between Dan Snyder, owner of the NFL’s third most valuable franchise – the Washington Red Skins – and social media. Advocates to change the name of the NFL team have propelled a controversy that began decades ago. But, because of the nature of social media, the story can be covered exhaustively, and through multiple channels.
In an AdWeek article from September 30th, CEO of TRP Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Chip Rives states, “Conversations that used to happen around the watercooler now happen all over the world in real time. It gives a bigger voice to those who are more active and passionate about the issue.”
Even mainstream media outlets like USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Slate and Mother Jones have joined in and refused to use the team’s name. The Redskins’ own hometown paper, The Washington Post, recently wrote, “The team’s name is a racial slur of Native Americans so offensive that it should no longer be tolerated.”
Snyder’s response to the social media press has been defensive and brusque at best, stating that the Redskins’ name is a source of pride and tradition to fans, and insisting that it was never intended as an insult to Native Americans. In an interview with USA Today, Snyder stated, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.”
What do you think? Will social media convince Snyder to ultimately change the name of the Washington Red Skins?