Indigenous People Against Chiefs Racist Traditions

(photo link in story)

(photo link in story)

Faye Dent, Staff Writer

Rhonda LeValdo, founder of the Kansas City-based Indigenous activist group, called Not In Our Honor, is pressing for Chiefs fans to abandon the “tomahawk chop.” She, and other indigenous peoples, are pushing for the name and mascot to be changed as well. Using iconography and words from indigenous people’s cultures is perpetuating racist stereotypes. It also creates a negative connotation toward their culture. There have been occasions where teams will change their name now seeing as their previous name was harmful and/or racist.

The Super Bowl is being played in a state that’s home to 22 Native American tribes who collectively oversee about a quarter of the land base. The Chiefs have made efforts to address concerns about racial insensitivity, but never have altered the team name, mascot, or convinced fans to drop the racially insensitive “tomahawk chop.” They did, however, convince their cheerleaders to change the movement of their hands: moving from an open hand to a closed fist. Indigenous organizers say they won’t stop protesting until the Kansas City Chiefs drop their culturally and racially insensitive means.


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