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Kansas City Chiefs Ban ‘American Indian-Themed Face Paint,’ Headdresses At Games

Kansas City Chiefs Ban ‘American Indian-Themed Face Paint,’ Headdresses At Games
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 19: The Kansas City Chiefs helmet logo is seen on the field before the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Kansas City Chiefs revealed Thursday that fans will now be prohibited from wearing Native American headdresses or “American Indian-themed face paint” to football games hosted at Arrowhead Stadium.
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.
Any fans who show up to a game with Native American-themed face paint will be asked to remove it during the security screening process outside the stadium. Non-Native American-themed face paint is still allowed in the stadium, according to the team’s statement.
The NFL team also revealed that the Arrowhead Chop is under review  but nothing has been finalized on it  and the 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.”
“We are grateful for the meaningful conversations we have had with all of these American Indian leaders,” said the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday. “It is important that we continue the dialogue on these significant topics, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”
The new policy represents yet another major branding shift in the NFL over the course of the last month.
Back in late July, the Washington RedSkins de-named itself amidst an ongoing public pressure campaign to change the team’s name. Instead of choosing a new permanent name, however, the team announced its temporary name as “The Washington Football Team.”
After the football team announced that the branding change was in the works, the Navajo Nation released a statement suggesting the name “Code Talkers,” to honor the contributions of Native Americans in World War II.
“We strongly encourage the NFL Washington organization to rename their team in such a way that truly honors and respects the First Americans of this country,” said Navajo Nation. “Renaming the team ‘Code Talkers’ to honor the Navajo Code Talkers, and other tribal nations who used their sacred language to help win World War II, would set the team on a path to restoring its reputation and correcting the historical misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples.”

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