The defending Super Bowl champions shared the news via social media on Thursday and said the team made the decision after engaging in a six-year dialogue with “local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds and experiences.”
The team said the discussions “helped us educate ourselves and our fans, and our partnership with these leaders has helped guide our American Indian Heritage Month Games, as well as the ceremonial Blessing of the Drum and the Four Directions of Arrowhead Stadium.”
As a result of that dialogue, the Chiefs are now discouraging fans from “wearing ceremonial headdresses and American Indian-themed face paint in our stadium” and enacting the following policies:
Effective immedately, fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium.
Face paint is still allowed, but not if it “references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions.”
Fans will be asked to remove any American Indian-themed face paint prior to passing security screening outside the stadium.
The team is reviewing the future of its trademark “Arrowhead Chop.”
The team is also exploring ways to make sure the stadium’s Drum Deck “better represents the spiritual significance of the drum in American Indian cultures.”
The team also is considering creating a program that would educate people about Native American culture.
So far, the reaction from Twitter users was mostly positive.
Thank you. About time. https://t.co/QoAIihuGHu
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) August 20, 2020
This is a great first step. https://t.co/l2ARBxDMTX
— Jeremy Danner (@Jeremy_Danner) August 20, 2020
However, the announcement also made people wonder why the Chiefs weren’t changing their name.
There’s major cognitive dissonance in telling fans they can’t do all these things anymore while still keeping the nickname, no? https://t.co/Ma6PQLrtEZ
— Cian (@Cianaf) August 20, 2020
Just change the fucking name and move on. At a MINIMUM the chop gotta go. I have been a Chiefs fan all of my life, I love the players and the heart that the squad has, but I have never once purchased a piece of chiefs merchandise because of the cultural appropriation factor.
— ILL Collins (@JohnnyQuest785) August 20, 2020
Following a wave of protests against racism and police brutality, Washington’s NFL team changed its name last month from a racial slur to the more generic Washington Football Team. The team plans to announce a new name before the 2021 season.
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