The Kansas City Chiefs football organization has come under fire in the past year due to their team name, stadium name, and logo, which protestors believe to be offensive to Native Americans.
The Chiefs media team has commented on the situation saying that they are named after a former Kansas City mayor who was nicknamed “Chief”, however, protestors and advocates for Native American people believe that allowing the Chiefs to keep their name and logo “opens the door for demeaning and mocking Native peoples.” According to Dr. Fryburg, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who is part of the Tulalip Tribes.
Over the past year, the NFL along with the MLB have taken steps to remove all possible racist team names/logos. Teams such as the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians have dropped their names and logos completely, but so far the only thing that the Chief’s have done is banned people from dressing up as Indians, and are in the process of changing their stadium name (formerly known as Arrowhead stadium).
As people living in America today, we are indulged by “cancel culture”, and while this situation may feel like an example of cancel culture today, it really holds a much bigger message in regards to racism in America. We have become so used to being stereotypical of other people’s cultures that we have forgotten what words can do to people. Of course not everybody who supports the Chiefs is a racist, rather they are so blinded by all of their favorite athletes who play for the team that they forget what Native Americans actually went through when they are chanting, “Chiefs!” at the games or doing the celebratory “Arrowhead Chop” at Chiefs games.
Overall, while the Chiefs have taken steps in the right direction regarding their team and what their name stands for, there is still a lot of work to be done in the eyes of protestors and advocates to give Native Americans the respect they deserve in America today.