According to ESPN, the NFL Kansas City Chiefs are meeting with Native American groups about their logo and name.
But, the team's concern is not necessarily the name, which most are arguing is not an derogatory slur – the team was named in honor of the city’s mayor Roe Bartle whose nickname was chief –but they are worried about how their fans’ rituals, like the Tomahawk chop when a touchdown is scored, tread on the line of offensiveness.
On August 6, The Kansas City Star reported that the Chiefs had two meetings in the last 10 days. One of those meetings was with John Learned, who is the president and CEO of the American Indian Center of the Great Plains in Kansas City. And the team also met with Gena Timberman an advisory member to Learned’s group. The Chiefs president Mark Donovan and and senior vice president of business operations Bill Chapin met with Learned, Timberman and a few other Indian groups to reach a compromise on how to move forward with a mutual solution.
“We’re looking at this as a way to make it a better experience for everybody,” Donovan told the paper.
The Star also recently published an op-ed arguing that the Chiefs should change their name because “it’s the right thing to do.”
Hampton Stevens wrote this bit of reasoning:
We can do better. The “Chiefs” moniker, along with the Arrowhead logo and tomahawk chop, are blatant appropriations of Native American imagery for the purpose of making money. Worse yet, that Native American theme encourages the truly embarrassing spectacle of fans coming to games in fake headdress and warpaint. That’s not only offensive, it’s tacky — exactly the same as white folks putting on blackface.
To read the rest of Stevens’s article, click here.