MONTREAL – On Tuesday night, the Montreal Canadiens‘ official Twitter account said it would “celebrate one million Twitter followers with a few surprises for you!”
The Habs certainly provided that for their followers, but not in the way they had hoped.
The team celebrated the milestone by sending out automated messages to Twitter followers who contacted them.
Several of the messages featured custom avatar jerseys emblazoned with the names of Twitter users.
Some users with offensive Twitter handles were then added to the jersey avatar and sent out on the team’s official account.
Many of the usernames featured racial slurs, some of which were directed at Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban.
A similar social media campaign backfired on the NFL’s New England Patriots back in 2014.
The team’s official account sent out an automated message that included an avatar with a Twitter handle containing a racial slur.
The Habs have since issued an apology.