The Washington Redskins on Thursday urged the team's Twitter followers to deluge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with messages telling him "what the team means to you."
The tweet is the latest shot in a back and forth between the team and Reid, who has called the team's name offensive and asked the NFL to endorse a change.
The #RedskinsPride hashtag was quickly trending. But it seemed to backfire in many cases, as users tweeted their opposition to the name. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) quickly tweeted her support for Reid's effort.
Reid and other Democratic leaders have long called for a change to the team's name. In December, he told The Hill it is "shortsighted" of owner Dan Snyder to keep it.
Last week, 50 Democratic senators sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell calling on the league to endorse a name change. Notably, the two senators from Virginia, where the team is based, did not sign on.
The team shot back with a letter to Reid over the weekend, urging him to visit a home game to witness the "positive, unifying force" the team has on the city and region that is "divided on so many levels."
The letter quoted an expert saying the term 'redskin' originated as a expression of solidarity, and the team’s logo was designed by Native Americans. The letter also pointed to polling that showed many Native Americans do not find it offensive.
"With over 81 years of tradition created by thousands of alumni and millions of fans, the Redskins team name continues to carry a deep and purposeful meaning," Redskins President Bruce Allen wrote.