Kansas City Chiefs Do Not Plan To Change Their Name…For Now
Football fans have been wondering for a while now if the Kansas City Chiefs would be changing their name to something more sensitive towards Native Americans. After all, a fellow National Football League franchise, the Washington Football Team(formerly the Washington Redskins) did it recently.
And of course, on Friday it was announced that the Cleveland Indians would be changing their name to the Guardians starting next season. However, according to the team's president, the Chiefs, just like baseball's Atlanta Braves, are not planning a name change anytime soon.
CNN is reporting that Mark Donovan, president of the Chiefs organization, announced that the team will keep its name for now but they are making another big change. Say "Bye Bye" to the Chief's mascot, Warpaint.
Donovan said the move comes at a time when the Chiefs are striving to move away from other team traditions that some Native American groups deem offensive like the Tomahawk Chop.
The Tomahawk Chop was a long-standing Chief tradition in which fans would break into a chant while making a chopping motion that mimicked the Native American tomahawk.
A popular fixture at home games for decades, Warpaint is their horse mascot. On game days, Warpaint would be on the field ridden by a Kansas City Chief's cheerleader. The tradition actually goes back to when the Chiefs played at Municipal Stadium. Back then, a man wearing a Native American headdress would ride the horse across the field after every Chief's touchdown.
At a press conference on Monday, Donovan said:
We have a really good American Indian working group that provides us real guidance and feedback and perspective on this issue. We're going to continue to create opportunities to educate, create awareness and work exactly as we have over the past eight years now with the working group.
In August of last year, the Chiefs banned fans from wearing Native American-style face paint and headdresses in the stadium. For more on the story, visit CNN's website.