KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Monday, Washington’s NFL team announced they’re getting rid of their Redskins name and logo. Some people are calling for the Chiefs to do the same.
The team is facing mounting pressure to change their name and much of the Native American imagery that takes place at games.
But the indigenous community is torn on the matter.
“It’s definitely about time that Kansas City step up and realize the situation that’s unfolding,” said Rhonda LeValdo, a faculty member at Haskell Indian Nations University.
The Chiefs are named in honor of former Kansas City Mayor Harold Roe Bartle. He’s responsible for the team’s move from Texas to Kansas City. His nickname was “Chief.”
From the tomahawk chop to the iconic war drum, LeValdo said it’s time for the Super Bowl champs to rebrand themselves.
“Unless they change the name, people are still going to use it and use native imagery. I think they just have to redo everything and right a historic wrong,” LeValdo said.
But it’s not just professional teams that are in the middle of this debate.
There’s a petition to change Shawnee Mission North’s Indian mascot as well. Not everyone agrees.
“I get that she probably has the best intention. But it’s just not her place to tell me as a minority how I should be offended,” said Emmitt Monslow, a 2012 Shawnee Mission North grad and an indigenous American.
That’s why he started a counter petition.
“It leads to a bigger problem. Today it’s Shawnee Mission North, the Chiefs; tomorrow we’re changing the name of Kansas,” Monslow said.
While there’s growing support among people in Kansas City to make a change for these teams — neither the Chiefs nor Shawnee Mission North have addressed how they’ll move forward.