WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A democratic lawmaker in Virginia felt like he was “living in George Orwell land” when he learned of the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s ruling on the Redskins name, he said of the decision prompting him to form the “Redskins Pride Caucus” to politically defend the name.
Va. State Senator Chap Petersen, representing Fairfax, told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier Tuesday, he was sitting at a high school graduation last week when he received a text informing him of the ruling, cancelling the Redskins’ six federally protected trademarks.
“I was just like, ‘Enough’s enough.’ This has gone crazy,” Petersen remembered. “I felt like I was living in George Orwell land.”
George Orwell, an early 20th century novelist and author of “nineteen-eighty four,” was also regarded for maintaining a democratic socialist political ideology, which he expressed in many of his works.
“And I sent a text to a republican — I’m a democrat — I sent a text to a republican friend, who was a season-ticket holder like myself, and I said, ‘Listen, I’m gonna call you tonight.’ And I gave him a call, I said, ‘You know, there’s just so much misinformation.’ I didn’t use the word ‘misinformation,’ but I said, ‘There’s so much misinformation being put out there, I feel like someone needs to stand up to the Redskins and just stand up for their fans.'”
From there, Petersen called the first press conference for the Redskins Pride Caucus, comprised of himself, Va. Del. Jackson Miller (Rep-Manassas), Va. Del. David Ramadan (Rep-Loudoun, Pr. William) and Va. Sen. L. Louise Lucas (Dem-Portsmouth).
The special caucus announced Monday its mission to defend the Redskins name, which they say is not derogatory, despite the team being under increasing pressure to change it, although, introducing legislation is not in the plans for the caucus.
“This is also about making sure that we protect our businesses, and be a voice for them to say ‘we’re not just going to let you get beaten up by Washington,’” said Del. David Ramadan on Monday.
Last month, 50 U.S. senators sent a letter to the NFL urging it to change the Redskins name.
Asked how he plans to combat that type of unified political pressure, Petersen said, “My number one goal, Grant, is just to be a voice for Redskins fans.”
“I grew up in this community, and I grew up as a huge Redskins fan; I’ve been a season-ticket holder since 1999,” Petersen divulged. “I believe in the team, I believe in what it represents in our community. I look at the Redskins logo as a symbol of unity in our community. I will tell you, my ticket’s in Section 451 and if any of your listeners are 451, represent, because it’s a great section.
“We got a great cross-section of people from Maryland, the District, Virginia — all races, folks from all over — and I believe in the unity that the team represents, and I’ll put that unity up, and that diversity up against any of these so-called groups that are attacking us for being ‘not diverse’ or ‘racist’ or whatever. I mean, give me a break. The bottom line is, we’re just here to support the fans and give the fans a voice because I felt like they didn’t have a voice.”
Listen to the full interview below.