Left-leaning political blogger Ben Tribbett, who was hired by the Washington Redskins to defend the team's name, abruptly resigned from the position after just two weeks on the job.
Tribbett announced his plans to resign on Twitter late Monday. He noted that personal attacks aimed toward him could be a distraction to the team.
Tribbett was hired by Redskins PR two weeks ago to defend the team’s name, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoked the Washington Redskins trademark in June, saying the name is “disparaging to Native Americans.” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly defended the name as a term of endearment and a “badge of honor.”
Within a week of the trademark revocation, Tribbett helped organize the “Redskins Pride Caucus,” a bipartisan group of 28 Virginia General Assembly members who challenged congressional involvement in the Redskins franchise, according to NBC12.
Tribbett has not revealed the exact reasoning behind his decision, but his announcement came after fresh criticism regarding his past reactions to racial slurs and comments Tribbett reportedly made on Twitter.
On Monday, the Indian Country Today Media Network posted links to Tribbett’s 2006 blog, where he railed against former-Sen. George Allen’s (R-Va.) use of “macaca” in reference to a Democratic staffer.
The Network, which is owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, also republished tweets allegedly authored by Tribbett in 2010 while at a casino:
“Just took Chief for his last 300 (dollars). I'd call it a scalping but that seems uncalled for.” - 2:42 AM - December 21, 2010
Shortly after the story appeared, Tribbett announced his plans for resignation via Twitter, claiming he does not “see eye to eye with” friends on the issue and did not want “to be a distraction to the team as the political ads have shifted toward being personal towards me.”
NCAI Executive Director Jackie Pata and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter responded to Tribbett’s announcement a statement Tuesday morning.
“...Snyder hired a blogger to defend the name, even though that person previously publicly insulted Native Americans and also admitted the team's name is a racial slur,” Pata and Halbritter said. “The fundamental lesson in each of those humiliating episodes should be obvious: there is simply no way to justify promoting, marketing and profiting off of a dictionary-defined racial slur.”