The City of Richmond held a council meeting Monday night to discuss Redskins training camp being held in the city. The proposed deal, which concerns state property, will allow Bon Secours, a non-profit organization with ties to the Catholic Church, to build a $6.4 million sports medicine facility over the next 10 years that the Redskins would use during their summer training camp.
The citizens of
Pawnee Richmond were given an opportunity to voice their opinions on the project. Among the concerns were the environmental impact, the reduction in park space and the lack of time citizens were given to look at the plan. And then there were those who had concerns of a much bigger nature.
“To this giveaway of land to two of the most wealthy entities on the planet,” began resident and naysayer, Chris Dorsey (video below). “The city of Richmond is a city where many people live in poverty, and our tax dollars are being given away to the Catholic Church and the Washington Redskins. And I can say I have much experience with these two entities. I am a former Redskins season ticket holder who wants my money back. And I know that going to the Redskins games is one of the biggest shakedowns anyone will ever experience, and they just shook down the taxpayers of the City of Richmond. And assisting them is their co-conspirator, the Catholic Church, who will not pay taxes. And I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to lease out that prime real estate for $5,000 a year. I mean, you can’t even rent a house in that neighborhood for $5,000 a year.”
Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. wasn’t concerned about shakedowns and Catholic Church conspiracies, but had his own opinions on what the Redskins’ presence means to him (and hopefully only him).
“Professional football has murderers, rapists, wife and girlfriend beaters, drunkards, drug takers, child molesters, etc.,” he bellowed (3:00 mark in the video below). “And you want to put this project next to a children’s science museum.”
Hughes did not cite his sources on the hobbies of football players, but I’m sure they’re very good.
Resident Elle Shirley Harvey started her moment by stating “I like the Cowboys” and ended with “I cannot understand how the Catholic Church and the Redskins got together. That does not make sense to me.”
Not everyone used their allotted three minutes to spew nonsense. Marian Agnew, who seemed like a perfectly sensible lady, had this to say:
“After having practiced law, and saving parks and recreation areas in Northern Virginia for more than 30 years, this is one of the slickest operations I have ever seen to move public property into private economic development, at no cost, literally, to those who are receiving the benefit.
“The Redskins are a wonderful team,” she continued. “I raised four boys and I am a devoted Redskins fan. But they are an industry. A National Football League team is an industrial use. Now, the trick is how to get the Redskins here as an industry. This is a Hail Mary pass to you guys. Call it. Take another look at this, and think of a partnership between the Redskins and Virginia University. Not Bon Secour.”
More than 12 people spoke up against the project, but Joe Rudasil, who was in favor of it, cited general fan devotion as a reason for supporting the move.
“For the record, I’m a Carolina Panthers fan,” he said, attempting to prove his lack of prejudice in the matter. “I love the Panthers. But they’re terrible.”
You can watch the entire proceedings here, if you’ve got the time and patience.