NORFOLK -- Jesse Bass, the son of the Chief of the Nansemond Tribal Association in Suffolk is applauding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for canceling the Washington Redskins trademark registration. This is the second such decision following decades of complaints that the name disparages Native Americans.
Bass admits even Native Americans are split on the emotional issue.
“Just because of the origination of the word my family growing up with my great great grandfather and my grandfather it was illegal to be a Native in Virginia. The word 'redskin' was used to place our family to jail people," Bass said. "People would go missing; that word has a lot of strong, strong meaning in a lot of Native families.”
However, there are diehard Redskins fans who feel the government is tampering with the team’s rich football history.
Duke Young is one of those fans. “ I just think that's utterly ridiculous. It's been an NFL legacy since 1932 when they moved to Fenway, they changed the name to honor the team so who's it hurting? It was meant to be a significant name, historical significance.”
Bass, who is also a football fan, questioned how anyone can compare football history to Native American history.
"There is a lot of history you know my family lives in Deep Creek in Chesapeake. We were forced their out of Suffolk during the English 'takeover,' long before anyone knew what a football was," Bass said. "For someone to say Redskins has history...there's no comparison really; if you want to talk about history.”