Patriots' automated Twitter reply sends out racial slur

The New England Patriots wanted to thank their fans for reaching one million Twitter followers with an automated tweet that showed each fan's Twitter handle on a digital Patriots jersey if they retweeted this message celebrating reaching one million.

The social media department didn't think this one through.

There are some terrible people in the world, and at least one retweeted that message. So one of the tweets that went out from the Patriots account was to a person who uses "IHATE" and a racial slur at the end of that, and that handle with the racial slur on a digital jersey. Here is a censored version:

( screen shot)
( screen shot)

Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post captured the tweet on a screen shot before it was deleted, and it can be seen here with the uncensored racial slur in it.

The Patriots apologized soon after it went out:

Unfortunately this incident will bring attention to the person who figured out he'd be getting this attention, and really it's just unfortunate that he's out there at all. But it's also a large social media fail by the first NFL team to reach one million Twitter followers.

- - - - - - -

Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!