With more people around the country than ever watching the Kansas City Chiefs comes more pressure to do away with the “Tomahawk Chop” and the name of the team.
Two billboards have gone up in Kansas City asking the Chiefs to change these characteristic features of the team. “Change the name. Stop the Chop," they read.
“They have the power to make actual change, positive change for social justice, and they choose not to use it,” Gaylene Crouser the executive director of the Kansas City Indian Center said. The billboards were paid for with funds from a social justice grant to the KCIC.
Since August, indigenous headdresses and traditional face painting have been banned from Arrowhead Stadium.
“As an organization, our goal was to gain a better understanding of the issues facing American Indian communities in our region and explore opportunities to both raise awareness of American Indian cultures and celebrate the rich traditions of tribes with a historic connection to the Kansas City area,” said the Chiefs.
FOX4 reports a number of policies that the Chiefs announced that are now in place for measures of cultural sensitivity:
"Face painting is still allowed for all fans, but any face paint that is styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions is prohibited.
Fans will be asked to remove any American Indian-themed face paint prior to passing security screening outside the stadium.
The ‘Arrowhead Chop’ is under review and The Chiefs plan to have additional discussions in the future.
The Chiefs are exploring all options for a modified engagement moment from the Drum Deck that maintains a unifying effect between fans and players but better represents the spiritual significance of the drum in American Indian cultures.
As allowed by NFL guidelines and the City of Kansas City Health Department for the coronavirus-impacted 2020 season, The Chiefs will continue with many traditions such as the Blessing of the Four Directions, the Blessing of the Drum, and inviting local tribe-members The Chiefs’ American Indian Heritage Month Game.
We are grateful for the meaningful conversations we have had with all of these American Indian leaders. It is important that we continue the dialogue on these significant topics, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future."