Kansas City Chiefs prohibit fans from wearing Native American headwear

Ban will be effective immediately, team says in statement

Louise Hall
Friday 21 August 2020 19:43
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Kansas City Chiefs lift Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl win

The Kansas City Chiefs have banned fans from wearing American Indian headwear at their stadium, following continued discussions around cultural appropriation and racism across the country.

The ban, announced on Thursday, is one of a host of sweeping changes that the team has made on the basis of their continued discussion with a group of local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds.

The defending Super Bowl champions said they will be adopting a number of new policies going forward including the prohibition of headdresses, face paint that appropriates American Indian cultures, a review of the arrowhead chop, and the Drum Deck.

“White we have discouraged fans from wearing headdresses for several years, effective immediately, fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium,” the team wrote in a press release.

“Any face paint that is styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions will be prohibited,” they added, noting that regular face painting will still be allowed.

The policies extended to a further appreciation and respect for American Indian culture, saying that the team would be “exploring the creation of a more formalized education program with input from both our local and national partners.”

Many people took to social media to say that the change was welcome and long overdue. “Thank you. About time” one user posted.

“This is a great first step,” another said. The team has long faced scrutiny over its branding and chanting with many widely arguing that it appropriates American Indian culture.

Other social media users criticised the team for banning headdresses and face paint while retaining their team name.

“There’s major cognitive dissonance in telling fans they can’t do all these things anymore while still keeping the nickname, no?” one user posted.

The Chief’s noted that they would “continue with many of the traditions that we have introduced over the past six years,” such as the “Blessing of the Four Directions” and the “Blessing of the Drum”.

They wrote that they would also continue “inviting members of tribes with a historic connection to our region to participate in our American Indian Heritage Month Game.”

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