How can we convince our leaders not to support a corporation that advances racism and misogyny?


    Last month, our Washington football team signed a player who was caught on tape literally whipping an African American woman with a belt.  A player whose actions toward women were so repugnant that it caused the New Orleans Saints to walk away from millions of dollars in order to disassociate with him.

    The same Washington team refuses to change a name that is outwardly racist toward Native Americans.

    These are actions characteristic of company that believes it can get away with the most offensive and racist activity and still have citizens – and elected officials – blindly support its actions.

    We have elected officials in our own Virginia Democratic party who continue to support this company – whether personally, as purchasers of tickets (even season tickets), or politically, by publicly affirming support for this team even when it refuses to change its blatantly racist name.

    We have a few principled leaders, such as the Democratic nominee for Delegate who several years ago gave up his season tickets and said he wouldn’t return until they change their name.  But for every leader who stands up, there are many who somehow believe that they can on one hand advance “progressive” values, and on the other hand keep buying from or supporting this reprehensible corporation.

    After believing for years that there is nothing I could do about this, I finally realized I could do one small thing.   Looking at my email inbox containing dozens of solicitations per week for Virginia Democratic candidates, many of whom I have supported for years, I realize I can be much more selective.  

    So many of these candidates have spoken on social media or otherwise of holding tickets, attending the team’s football games, or otherwise supporting the interests of the team.  Why should I support them if they are supporting this heinous organization?   No more support for them until they cut off all ties to the team.   The more of us who send messages to our candidates that we are paying attention to these things, the better.

    Someday, our region’s team will have a new name, new leadership, and a more civil attitude toward human beings.   At that time, we will look back at the “Democrats” who supported that team back in and wonder what kind of world we must have lived in to think that was acceptable.