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The Kansas City Chiefs have banned fans from wearing headdresses and American Indian-themed face paint at home games effective immediately, the team announced in a statement. The franchise is also reviewing the Arrowhead Chop, an arm motion used by fans, and the Drum Deck, a portion of the stands used as part of the team’s pregame ritual.

The Chiefs will continue several of their gameday traditions, including the Blessing of the Four Directions as well as the Blessing of the Drum. They will also continue to invite members of tribes with an historic connection to participate in their American Indian Heritage Month Game.

The franchise, in a statement that was released Thursday afternoon, said that the Chiefs began a dialogue with a group of local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds and experiences back in 2014. The Chiefs stated that the goal of that dialogue was to “gain a better understanding of the issues facing American Indian communities in our region and explore opportunities to both raise awareness of American Indian culture and celebrate the rice traditions of tribes with a historic connection to the Kansas City area.”

“We are grateful for the meaningful conversations we have had with all of these American Indian leaders,” the team said in the statement. “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 franchise changed its name shortly after moving from Dallas to Kansas City in 1963, and a “name the team” contest helped anoint the franchise the Kansas City Chiefs. The historical significance of “Chiefs” in Kansas City comes from former Mayor Bartle, a businessman who helped team founder Lamar Hunt move the franchise to Kansas City. In 1925, Bartle founded The Tribe of Mic-O-Say, a Native American-based honor society that was part of the Boy Scouts of America. The organization was referred to as “The Chief.”

The Chiefs’ announcement comes more than a month after Washington retired their former name and logo. The franchise will be referred to as the Washington Football Team during the 2020 season, and is expected to have a new name and logo for the 2021 campaign. 


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