KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the Kansas City Chiefs welcomed in the Raiders for Monday Night Football, one group called on the team to change its name.
While fans greeted Chiefs players with the “Chop” on their way into Arrowhead, protesters just outside the stadium held up signs saying the tomahawk chop is racist.
“It’s like being a little pregnant, you can’t be just a little racist,” Kansas City Indian Center Executive Director Gaylene Crouser said of the Chiefs moves in recent years to ban headdresses and other appropriation by fans in the stands while Bobby Witt Jr. still led fans banging the drum before the game while fans chanted.
That call for change came on Indigenous People’s Day.
“We need people to understand that the cultural appropriation and stereotyping and racism that is the tomahawk chop and the stereotypical song are unacceptable,” Crouser said.
The Kansas City Indian Center called on Clark Hunt or Roger Goodell to change the name of Kansas City Chiefs.
“I feel disgusted, that’s the best word to describe it because here they are with end racism stenciled into the field there and they are still doing that to us as the first people.”
Missouri Governor Mike Parson doesn’t see the issue.
“I think its an honor when teams pick out the names of the Native Americans and what they’ve been through. You know I think we make too much political hype nowadays, people just want to come out and have fun,” Parson said.
Nor do some Chiefs fans.
“It’s about the NFL, it’s about the camaraderie, it’s about the games. It isn’t intended to offend anyone in any way shape or form, it’s sports,” Paul Lang said.
The Kansas City Chiefs released the following statement Monday:
Today, the Chiefs organization joins people all across the country in recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a chance to honor and celebrate American Indian peoples, histories and cultures. We continue to have important dialogue with local and national groups to identify ways to educate ourselves and our fans by raising awareness of American Indian communities and their rich traditions.
The Chiefs also said they’d celebrate American Indian Heritage Month during their third home game in November against the Los Angeles Rams.
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