At a time when neither the CEO of the company that put its name on the Washington franchise’s stadium nor the man who serves as the current face of the franchise will publicly support the team’s name, a Virginia legislator predictably is willing to go all in.
A group of Virginia legislators have founded the “Redskins Pride Caucus,” which will openly support the name of the franchise that conducts its training camp in Richmond.
“Wherever I go, it has been a constant topic that comes up,” Delegate David Ramadan told the Washington Post. “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.”
Ramadan added that members of Congress inclined to challenge the team’s name should “go work on other issues and leave our Virginia businesses alone.”
The position isn’t surprising. While FedEx’s Fred Smith and Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III realize that taking a position could alienate those who disagree with it, the Virginia legislators advance their careers with a simple majority only. Then again, supporting the team is less about gaining the majority than it is about preserving it.
Fans of the team are far more likely than non-fans of the team to believe the name is fine, and those fans of the team who share owner Daniel Snyder’s all-caps-never-over-my-dead-body zeal regarding the name will be far more likely to show up at the polls to vote in favor of those politicians who agree — and to vote against those who don’t.
In Virginia and Maryland, opposing the team’s name will be the quickest way for a politician to no longer be a politician.