'NotYourMascot' Trends on Twitter Over Super Bowl Weekend [37 Images]
Both the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos had their share of Native American fans rooting for an NFL championship season, but many American Indians who didn't have a dog in the Super Bowl hunt brought their A game on Twitter anyway with the hashtag #NotYourMascot. These were concerned folks who took advantage of the big weekend to speak out against demeaning Native mascots one last time before the 2013-14 NFL season became history.
In so doing, they made a little history of their own. Activists ambushed Twitter with a "Twitter Storm" using the hashtag and managed to get their message into the "Trending Topics" list as the NFL was in full Super Bowl mode. That's no small feat: Not ony was the big game all over Twitter, so were tweets of protest about the league's most controversial team name, the Washington Redskins.
The substance of the tweets included not just words of support, but also -- importantly, since the internet is a visual medium -- meme images and graphics about the issue, as well as photos of regular Natives just being proud of who they are. We've collected a great deal of those in this gallery -- it's a pretty stunning effort by some passionate and plugged-in people.
One of the organizers of the Twitter storm was Jacqueline Keeler, who's been using Twitter to raise awareness of the mascot issue ever since a Tweet of hers about Native mascots went viral in December. She offered an explanation of this virtual event that was posted to GoodMenProject.com -- it reads, in part:
We came up with the hashtag #NotYourMascot after the other hashtag we were using #Changethename (originated by Jonathan Miller’s group) got spammed and Twitter marked it as spam. Dani Miller (a member of our group) wrote about this at Last Real Indians.
We have also been working with Suey Park, an Asian American social media activist and graduate student who has had success in the past getting #NotYourAsianSidekick trending to number one. She’s been a great resource and advised us to begin tweeting the night before the Superbowl. She also got a lot of the activist students involved and the Asian American community.
We did keep #NotYourMascot under wraps until Saturday night because we wanted to avoid it being spammed again. Yet, we still got a lot of support and we trended!
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