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Blogger hired to defend Redskins' name quits, cites attacks

By John Clarke

(Reuters) - A political blogger hired by the National Football League's Washington Redskins to defend the contentious team name has resigned after two weeks on the job.

Ben Tribbet, 34, said late on Monday on Twitter that he was quitting, citing a growing number of personal and political attacks. The Redskins, long the target of criticism over the team's name, hired Tribbet on June 25.

"I don’t want to be a distraction to the team as the political attacks have shifted towards being personal towards me," Tribbet, who had run a left-leaning political blog called "Not Larry Sabato" wrote on Twitter.

"So I’m going to send in my resignation to the Redskins. Hopefully that allows debate to move back to where it should be."

The NFL franchise hired Tribbet a week after a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal canceled six Redskins' trademarks, saying the name was a slur. The ruling set the stage for a court battle with the team's owner, Dan Snyder, who has defied calls to change the name.

The Change the Mascot campaign, lead by the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians, said in a statement that the Redskins had tried to sway the debate over the team's name by hiring Tribbet.

"In trying to continue profiting off of a racial slur, Washington team officials have attempted to assemble a political attack machine, but that has only underscored their insensitivity," the statement said.

A Redskins spokesman had no comment about Tribbet's resignation.

(Editing by Ian Simpson and Eric Walsh)

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