The New England Patriots officially became the first NFL team to reach the milestone of one million followers on Twitter recently, and so they decided to celebrate. Unfortunately, their social media person celebrated without thinking, and ended up thanking an extremely racist Twitter handle in the process.
The Boston Globe reported that the questionable tweet went out by the New England Patriots sometime around 9 p.m. on the evening of November 14, and it thanks a handle that was put simply @IHATE and then the N-word was thrown in there at the end.
In celebration of their accomplishment on Twitter, the Patriots wanted to create custom avatar jerseys for any Twitter handle that retweeted their celebration. Obviously, they didn’t think things through too well, as they thanked the racist handle for “helping us become the first NFL team with 1 millions followers! #1MillionPatriots.”
Not only was the handle in the message, but a big old Patriots’ jersey with a number 1 and the racist name was staring everyone right in the face.
USA Today did point out that the tweet wasn’t up long and the social media team of the New England Patriots ended up apologizing as quick as humanly possible.
We apologize for the regrettable tweet that went out from our account. Our filtering system failed & we will be more vigilant in the future.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 14, 2014
One can’t forget that this is the internet though, and no matter how quickly things happen and how fast its taken down, someone was speedy enough to catch it. The Patriots’ jersey with “I HATE N-WORD” was already print screened and shared and retweeted hundreds of times.
It took little to no time for the racist jersey to go viral, and the Patriots were left licking their wounds. Since then, the Twitter account of the NFL team has gone rather silent.
A few strange names obviously made it through, as it is Twitter, and real names are not often thrown out there as someone’s handle. Still, none were nearly as racist or offensive as the one that went viral, and the Patriots’ season may be going well but you can bet that there is some finger-pointing going on in their social media office.
Next time, a bit more thought may be put into the New England Patriots’ celebrations about things that don’t really matter to anyone.
Maybe Rod “HeHateMe” Smart should have retweeted them. At least he could have gotten back into the NFL.
[Image via New England Patriots Twitter]