Ben Tribbett, the blogger hired by the Redskins last month to defend the team’s name, tweeted his resignation Monday night.
Without being specific, he said “political attacks” against him since he took the job had turned personal and that he didn’t want to be a “distraction to the team.”
In a brief interview with The Washington Post Monday night, Tribbett said “things got a little out of control on Twitter.”
He said his resignation “was not reflective of me changing my position on this at all. I supported the Redskins before I took this job. … I think that’s how they found me. I still support them. I don’t think [the name is] a slur.”
Tribbett, 34, is a Virginia political aide by profession. He got his start in Virginia politics by working on the 2001 House of Delegates campaign for Virginia State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City), one of the legislators behind the recently formed “Redskins Pride” caucus. Tribbett also wrote the progressive political blog “Not Larry Sabato.”
He broke the story of Redskins executive Bruce Allen’s brother, former Virgina senator George Allen, referring to a volunteer for the campaign of his opponent as a “macaca” in 2006. The slur helped lead to Allen’s defeat.
On June 25, Tribbett tweeted the announcement of his new job: “Proud to join the Washington @Redskins today to promote a proud tradition in our area.! Hail to the Redskins!”
And now, in two tweets Monday night, this:
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
CBS DC appeared to be the first to break the story. The team’s owner, Daniel M. Snyder, is embroiled in a long-running and bitter controversy about his continued use of a name many consider disparaging of Native Americans. Among the critics is the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which on June 18 stripped the team of its trademark registration.