Benjamin Tribbett, a liberal Virginia political blogger who was hired by the Washington Redskins two weeks ago to help defend their increasingly controversial name, announced his intention to resign via Twitter on Monday stating that his presence with the organization had become a "distraction."
In an interview with The Wire Tuesday, Tribbett added that he would continue to support the organization's attempts to push back against critics of the team name.
Obv. this issue with Redskins is one where I don’t see eye to eye with some friends. I just don't agree with the attacks on the team name.— Ben Tribbett (@notlarrysabato) July 8, 2014
I don’t want to be a distraction to the team as the political attacks have shifted towards being personal towards me.— Ben Tribbett (@notlarrysabato) July 8, 2014
So I’m going to send in my resignation to the Redskins. Hopefully that allows debate to move back to where it should be.— Ben Tribbett (@notlarrysabato) July 8, 2014
Tribbett, an avid Redskins fan, has long opposed criticism of the football team's controversial name. "I've lived here for 34 years and never heard it used like that," he told The Wire. "Would I call someone a Redskin? Only if they were a member of the Redskins."
As a known liberal blogger, the Redskins most likely saw Tribbett as both an unlikely and a potentially effective advocate for the team name, someone who might be able to sway those most outraged over the issue, who consider the team name outright racist. However, that is not, in Tribbett's estimation, how his defense of the team was received online where he was quickly subject to a constant stream of phone calls, e-mails and tweets.