Toronto Raptors basketball fans embraced their underdog status with a snarky hashtag after a U.S. broadcaster appeared to snub the team by referring to them as "Other" in an online poll.

Fans took issue after noticing that CBS Sports had apparently omitted any direct reference to the Raptors, when it included an "Other" option in an online poll that asked readers which team will win the league title: the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Cleveland Cavaliers or "Other."

Raptors fans quickly sank their claws into the perceived snub, sending out mocking tweets under the hashtag #WeTheOther – a variation on the popular Raptors hashtag, #WeTheNorth.

However, CBS says the poll was posted on Sunday, before the Raptors defeated the Miami Heat to advance to the Eastern Conference final.

The broadcaster said it didn't have room to fit the Raptors and Heat in the poll. An updated poll was posted on Tuesday, with the Raptors listed as the fourth option. And judging by the poll results, Raptors fans were voting in droves. The team led the poll at 95 per cent at noon on Tuesday, with more than 1,900 votes cast.

Toronto Mayor John Tory came to his hometown team's defence in a letter to the chairman of CBS Sports, which he later shared on Twitter.

"We're accustomed to being underestimated," Tory wrote. "Just a few days ago LeBron James said he was looking forward to playing the Heat – a team that is now golfing. Dwyane Wade thought he could practice shots during our national anthem. Well we showed him how we feel about that."

Tory added that the CBS chairman is welcome to contact him when the Raptors hold their championship parade, so he can provide the broadcaster with "prime camera positions" for the event. "We will mark their space as 'other,'" Tory wrote.

The Toronto Public Library also chimed in.

The Raptors opened their Eastern Conference final series against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Tuesday night.