A Native American rights group is planning a protest on Sunday urging the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs to retire the workforce’s title and cease followers from utilizing an in-game tomahawk chop forward of Tremendous Bowl LV in Tampa.
Alicia Norris, co-founder of the Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality (FIREE), is likely one of the individuals main the demonstration set to happen close to Raymond James Stadium, the place the Chiefs will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the championship. Norris informed CBS Information that using the title and chop are “dishonorable and disrespectful.”
“The Indigenous individuals of this land have already had a mass genocide strategy with regard to their tradition and way of life,” she mentioned. “And once you additional dehumanize them and objectify them, it simply form of falls consistent with that extinction of who they’re.”
In 1963, the workforce picked the “Chiefs” title to honor former mayor Harold Bartle, whose nickname was “The Chief” and was instrumental to bringing the workforce from Dallas to Kansas Metropolis. The Chiefs went on to undertake arrowheads within the their brand and title their house stadium Arrowhead Stadium.
Tillhand chop motion, imitating the Native American tomahawk., the workforce allowed followers to don headdresses and put on face paint at video games. Many followers additionally get away in “warfare chants” whereas making a
For Gaylene Crouser, government director of the Kansas City Indian Center (KCIC), the Chiefs ought to simply “rip the band support off” in relation to a reputation change.
“In case your workforce title evokes you to do one thing that individuals are gonna say, ‘Hey, that is racist,’ then possibly your workforce title wants to alter, as a result of that is simply not, it is not sustainable, Crouser informed CBS Information.
“Lots of people simply have gotten used to that form of stereotyping,” she mentioned.
The stress on the Chiefs comes after different groups have determined to ditch their Native American-themed monikers. The Washington Soccer Workforcefinal summer season. The Cleveland Indians they’re eliminating their nickname and two years in the past, they dropped their .
It isn’t simply Native American rights teams calling for the change. The Kansas City Star posted an editorial this week urging the Chiefs to desert the Native American imagery. With thousands and thousands set to tune in to the massive sport, the newspaper’s editorial board had a message for individuals unaware of the Chiefs’ traditions.
“For these followers, a message: Many Kansas Citians will cringe together with you when spectators do the chop,” they wrote. “We embrace the workforce’s on-field success, however do not suppose a corrosive chant has a lot to do with it. It is not truthful to ask teams offended by these symbols to attend even longer for change.”
The success of the Chiefs, who’re enjoying in a second consecutive Tremendous Bowl, is just bringing extra consideration to the controversy.
“It is simply not a great search for Kansas Metropolis,” Crouser mentioned. “We’re higher than that.”
CBS Information reached out to the Chiefs, however didn’t instantly hear again. Beforehand, Chiefs president Mark Donovan said discussions on the topic will continue.
“You will have opinions on all sides on what we should always and should not do,” he mentioned. “We will proceed to have these dialogue. We will proceed to make adjustments going ahead, and hopefully adjustments that do what we hope, which is respect and honor Native American heritage whereas celebrating the fan expertise.”
Some members of KCIC will journey to Tampa to attend the protest, which is able to face heightened safety measures for the NFL’s marquee occasion. Crouser additionally took goal on the league, which publicly embraced the battle for racial justice and provided symbolic gestures, for letting the Chiefs proceed on with the title and chop.
“It simply rings so hole when all you’ve got executed is stencil ‘Finish Racism’ above your title and your title is the Chiefs and you are still doing that silly chop,” she mentioned.