Chiefs are correct in banning insensitivities towards Native Americans

The Chiefs won’t allow Native American imagery at their games.

The movement to remove Native American names and imagery from professional sports secured some major victories in 2020.

The Washington Football Team did away with their blatantly offensive name created by a racist man in George Preston Marshall, and momentum is building for a Cleveland Indians rebrand. The Kansas City Chiefs’ name isn’t offensive like Washington’s old one, but some have taken issue with fans using the name as an excuse to act out behavior some Native Americans can call derogatory.

In an effort to remove that unsightly presence at Chiefs home games, the franchise announced that they will not allow anyone wearing headdresses or Native American-themed makeup into Arrowhead Stadium. The team will also look into removing the “Tomahawk Chop” chant from home games.

The Chiefs made the right move, as wearing headdresses is inherently offensive.

While some have argued that the Chiefs should also do away with their moniker in the name of cultural sensitivity, that debate has a lot of gray area and a strong case can be made on both sides of this debate.

What isn’t up for debate, however, is claiming that non-Native American Chiefs fans wearing headdresses, putting on face paint, and miming Native American behavior in a derogatory manner is inherently offensive.

In a statement released by the Chiefs themselves, the franchise cites seven years of dialogue with the American Indian Community Working Group as the main factor that helped this decision come to fruition.

Rather than letting a front office made up of predominantly white men make decisions on what is and is not offensive to the Native American community, the franchise listened to concerns that Native leaders voiced time and time again in order to make Chiefs games a more inclusive, welcoming environment.

What Kansas City did should be a model for how all teams with Native American names and imagery should reassess their name. If a vocal group claims that certain parts of how the team is named, marketing, or celebrated offends them, the team should look to appease them in the name of inclusivity.

Next: Arrowhead Stadium will not be changed

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