For Del. David Ramadan, the Washington Redskins’ name is a source of pride that shouldn’t be messed with.
Ramadan (R-Loudon), a fan since the mid-1980s, said he plans to form a “Redskins Pride Caucus” with Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas), Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) and other Virginia legislators to represent fans of the professional football team.
Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the football team’s registration. According to a 99-page decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the team’s name and logo are disparaging.
Opponents of the team’s name view it as a racial slur against Native Americans.
Ramadan said the caucus plans to provide a voice for fans and season ticket holders, as well as support for the team franchise. He argues that the team is a Virginia-based business that generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
The caucus opposes the involvement of the U.S. Congress. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and 49 other members of Congress sent a letter last month to the National Football League urging the league to change the Redskins name. Ramadan said the letter-writing members should “go work on other issues and leave our Virginia businesses alone.”
The caucus also supports commercial freedom in the commonwealth and the rights of businesses to their brands and intellectual property, according to a release.
Ramadan, in a phone interview as he drove to Richmond, where the caucus will convene at 3:30 p.m. Monday, said he’s heard from hundreds of constituents in the past few weeks.
“Wherever I go, it has been a constant topic that comes up,” he said. “People ask me, ‘What can be done?’ This is our team, and as representatives of the people of Virginia, we are standing up for our citizens.”
As he hung up the phone, Ramadan paused and said, “Go Redskins.”