MISSION, Kan. (AP) – Key fans of Kansas City who file for the NFL season on Thursday at Arrowhead Stadium and will not wear headdresses or face paint socially distant for the NFL season. Amid a nationwide push for racial justice following the police-custody death of George Floyd In Minneapolis.
The move to reign Super Bowl champions pleased the Native Americans as a good first step, but disappointed some of the 17,000 fans Who will stand out as the first player on the team – albeit a smaller one than the team normal – during the coronovirus epidemic. The imposition of new restrictions also comes as the team requires masks, which have proved challenging on some public practices.
NFL teams with Native American mascots are facing increased scrutiny after the team in Washington The Redskins were chosen to leave as their surname after a long and often controversial dialogue with fans and the public. The chiefs also announced last month that the team was discussing about the future of the festival cutting its spectacle amidst racism.
Students at nearby Haskell Indian Nations University of Lawrence, Kansas are among those seeking changes.
“Using this mascot and this fan base of mainly wearing blondes’ face colors and headdresses and chomping tomahawk, and that activates them and empowers them, and then something to do Neither is wrong. For me, “said William Wilkinson, Haskell’s former University Student Government Association president.
Wilkinson, who is Navajo, Cherokee, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arakara, said the team nickname would eventually have to be changed as well.
The 22-year-old businessman from Madison, Wisconsin, said, “It disappoints us and gives us the picture of Native Americans being this savory beast hungry for battle.”
Ty Rotan, a self-described superfan who goes to the games as the X-Factor, dressed with an arrowhead over his head, beads signed by players and a cape, has made a change in his costume. Instead of face paint, he would stick duct tape with biblical verses on his face.
He was barred from security when he was dressed as a getup for a training camp exercise, but he said clearance for the ensemble had been obtained. Still, he feels the team’s changes are an exaggeration and said fans like to pose with people wearing headdresses. He also thinks the team should cut Tomahawk as well.
“It is something that elevates us together and we do as one. It is not meant to be abusive at all.
Kansas City Indian Center executive director Geleen Krauser said it is wrong to use the “race of people as a swamp”. Her group has called for change over the years and she feels there may be a change in pace.
“It’s always swept under the rug, but because the Washington team was bent so hard that they made changes, now some others are starting to feel the heat,” she said. “I hope this is the beginning of the end of this accepted racism.”
Calls to address racial issues have become more prevalent in the wake of Floyd’s death. A black man, Floyd, died on May 25, after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed handcuffs into Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes during an arrest over fake money. The officer and three other officers were fired and charged in Floyd’s death.
Sixty-five-year-old fan Connie Joe Gillespie, who is a mix of East Woodland Shawnee, Plains Cree and Mississippi Chickasaw, supports a ban on headdresses, but thinks the chiefs should remain named. She considers herself an avid fan and praises the efforts the team has made to work with national organizations that work closely on issues affecting Native Americans.
For example, chiefs celebrate American Indian Heritage Month by inviting elders to a game every year and perform a ceremony called “Blessing of the Drum and Four Directions of Arrowhead Stadium”.
“KC chiefs have the opportunity to culturally educate non-Indians about our heritage, culture and traditions because of their names,” he wrote. “They, along with local and regional American Indian leaders and tribal members, are wisely using that opportunity to culturally educate and honor American Indian culture and heritage.”