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No Name Change, But Culture Change For Chiefs

No Name Change, But Culture Change For Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have decided to pass some drastic culture changes for the upcoming season that fans might not like or agree with. The NFL team is going to prohibit Native American headdresses, face paint and other signs representing the native Indian cultures during games at Arrowhead Stadium.  The move is in line with other changes that have been appearing across all sports leagues in the US as they try to provide a more inclusive culture.

No More Arrowhead Chops

This is certainly going to be a controversial decision, but one of the reasons behind this ban is the unpleasant conflict seen with the Washington Football Team, which was forced by media pressure to abandon its name, the Redskins.  According to some groups and organizations, the name was offensive and derogatory to the Indian nation tribes.

The Chiefs may have other reasons which led them to make such a culture change decision that they are not going to disclose.  But the point here is that fans won’t be allowed to wear headdresses into the stadium.  What’s more, face painting that is similar and represents Native cultures and traditions is also banned.  Even though these are unwelcoming changes by many fans, they will have to get accustomed to the new rules.


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Furthermore, the Chiefs announced they would also seek to make changes to two favorite Arrowhead traditions among fans, the Arrowhead Chop and the pregame beating of a drum often done by a former player, coach or other local celebrity.  These prohibitions might annoy some fans and make them not want to attend home games any longer.

Chiefs Culture Change A Long Time Coming

As a matter of fact, this was not a quick decision made by the NFL team.  The Chiefs have been discussing this for quite some time already, and commented in a statement, “In 2014, we began a dialogue with a group of local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds and experiences.

It added, “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.” It is evident that the team aims to observe and honor the native cultures that are related to the state.

The Chiefs also stated, “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.” There is no doubt that the team has good intentions and looks to establish a culture of peace and respect for the Native cultures that have traditionally inhabited the Kansas region.  Some of the Indian tribes that are considered native to the region are the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kansa, Kiowa, Osage, Pawnee and Wichita.

The Chiefs have a leading initiative to make a change so new generations and people in general are aware of the respect deserved by Native cultures.  However, the past can’t be erased just by a couple of culture changes or by implementing some new rules into the Chiefs stadium the constant damage and deprivation exacted on the Native Indians even today won’t disappear.


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Arrowhead Open For Business This NFL Season

The Chiefs stated that this week that they are planning to have fans at their home games, at least early in the upcoming season.  Their idea is to limit attendance for those games at 22% of Arrowhead’s capacity, which last season was listed at 72,936.  Estimates show that about 16,000 fans would attend early-season games, including the NFL’s September 10 opening game between the Chiefs and the Houston Texans.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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