WASHINGTON: The Washington Redskins have tapped Burson-Marsteller for support around its controversial name, including the team’s new alumni-backed website.
"We have been retained by the Washington Redskins and the player alumni association to provide technical and editorial support to distribute information to those who inquire about the team’s history and name, which includes the website redskinsfacts.com," confirmed a Burson-Marsteller representative via email.
It was not clear when the firm was brought on by the football team. Representatives from the Redskins were not immediately available for comment.
Over the last few months, the Redskins have seen a number of challenges due to its team name, which is viewed by various parties as offensive and disparaging to Native Americans. In May, the team faced a slew of backlash when it started a #RedskinsPride hashtag campaign on Twitter, aimed at letting fans tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid how they feel about the team.
A month later, the US Patent Office revoked the team’s trademark rights, and at the beginning of July, blogger Ben Tribbett, who the Redskins hired to defend the name, quit after just two weeks on the job.
Ads for the site appeared on the backdrop behind players at training camp on Wednesday, according to The Washington Post.
Alumni supporters listed on the site include former Redskins players Gary Clark, Chris Cooley, Mark Moseley, Ray Schoenkem, and Roy Jefferson. The site also states that its intention is to present "historical evidence to fair-minded opinion leaders on both sides of the issue so ongoing discussions can be constructive."
The @RedskinsFacts Twitter account first tweeted last Thursday, and the site also has an accompanying Facebook page.
Twitter users respond negatively to the new online Redskins effort: