Given the New Rules, Can Kansas Remain the Chiefs? Maybe NFL Means 'Not for Long'

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
AP featured image
Kansas City Chiefs’ Derrick Nnadi (91) plays with the confetti, at the end of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Chiefs’ defeated the 49ers 31-20. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


If your Kansas City football fanaticism rivals Puddy from Seinfeld, I have bad news.

On Thursday, the town’s NFL franchise — the Chiefs — announced fans are banned from wearing American Indian attire or war paint at Arrowhead Stadium games.

So you can root for the Chiefs…in a venue called Arrowhead…

But a costume?


You can cheer ’em, but you can’t be ’em.

The Daily Wire notes the policy’s a crackdown on an oft-criticized craze:

While fans have been discouraged from wearing these things in the past, the new policy enacts a formal ban as part of the team’s commitment to understanding Native American issues, which it began back in 2014.

So what happens now if you roll up with Mohican marks or festive feathers?

During security screening outside the stadium, you’ll be asked to take it off.

In the meantime — though you’re no Indian — you can chop in the air to cheer the team.

However, that’s under review, too — it may get the…chop.

And if you’re of Japanese descent, and you claim it’s a karate chop?

You may be culturally appropriating yourself.

Moving on, there’s another pounding point to ponder: The Chiefs have a rich tradition, AKA the Drum Deck:


A little history from 2012:

Borrowing from the video, the drum that was set for a touchdown is now likely to strike out.

The Wire explains:

[T]he Drum Deck may be modified in a way “that maintains a unifying effect between our fans and our players but better represents the spiritual significance of the drum in American Indian cultures.”

The Chiefs also said that recently introduced traditions will remain ongoing, including the Blessing of the Four Directions, the Blessing of the Drum, and the team’s inviting of Native American tribal members “with a historic connection to our region” to participate in the heritage month game. Furthermore, the team is “exploring the creation of a more formalized education program with input from both our local and national partners.”

I’d say the anti-Indian effort’s bound to continue. After all, even without a rain dance: When it rains, it pours.

And the once-great Washington Redskins are now the presently-great Washington….Football Team.


The Cleveland Indians appear poised to follow.

Call it a pattern: The best way to honor things is to erase reference to their existence.

I haven’t figured out how all that works yet, but I assume I will.

As will you.

Whether you want to or not.



See more pieces from me:

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