Kansas City’s football team may be the Chiefs; but they don’t want to see any in the stands this year.
If and when fans will be allowed into the stadium to watch the games live, no Native American head gear, face paint, or costumes will be allowed at Arrowhead Stadium. Any fan who comes to the stadium with such attire, will not be permitted into the stadium.
The verdict on whether or not the Tomahawk Chop will be allowed is still out. The name of the stadium – Arrowhead – and the team’s logo – a KC inside an arrowhead – have not been brought up as of yet.
The purpose is to eliminate all racist imagery from the franchise.
In the wake of a recent escalation of racial inequality and a move toward the elimination of that inequality, professional sports teams with Native American imagery have been working toward making less offensive decisions.
The Chiefs are also looking to “something that symbolizes the heartbeat of the stadium” and eliminate the War Drum currently used at the beginning of each game.
In a move to bridge the gap, the Chiefs celebrate Native American Heritage Month and invite Native elders to a game for the “Blessing of the Drum and the Four Directions of Arrowhead Stadium”.
The team’s name comes from a former Kansas City Mayor, Harold Roe “Chief” Bartle and not a Native American. At one time a man attired in full Native American regalia rode out on the field on the pinto horse Warpaint. Today, the rider is one of the team’s cheerleaders.
The Chiefs noted that they are grateful for the conversations with Native leaders; adding that it is important to continue the diaglogue.
While the Chiefs began a dialogue with groups for a better understanding of Native American cultures and issues, the issue came to a head with a push to change the name of the team in Washington and eliminating the name Redskins. The team has removed the name and is currently searching for a new nickname. Until a new name is found, they will simply be called the Washington football team.
The “Tomahawk Chop” and “Warchant” became popular among professional ball teams as graduates of Florida State University entered the world of professional sports. Like everything associated with the Seminoles, the “Chop” and Warchant are done with the approval of the Seminole Nation of Florida. The regalia worn by Chief Osceola was donated to the university by The Nation and all Native symbols on the uniforms of the athletes have been created or approved by The Nation.
feature photo credit: By Conman33 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5218788