Chiefs address questions regarding team name, game-day traditions

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On the same day the Washington franchise announced that its name will change, the Chiefs addressed for the first time whether its name and game-day traditions strike the proper balance between honor and misappropriation.

Team president Mark Donovan spoke at length to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star regarding the subject, recognizing that the varying opinions on the matter make it a “tough spot.” But the Chiefs don’t face the problem of a name that is a dictionary-defined slur.

“We feel like it’s very different than in the Washington situation,” Donovan told Mellinger. “There’s a lot of true equity value in the traditions and the name and the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s extremely valuable not only from an economic standpoint, but with the tradition of this team.”

The name of the team isn’t facing significant internal or external scrutiny. The tomahawk chop, however, is. But it also has plenty of people who want to keep it.

“It’s probably the part that’s had the most support as much as resistance, if that makes sense,” Donovan told Mellinger. “There hasn’t been a lot of support for, ‘We’ve got to keep headdresses.’ That’s not what we’ve heard. With the chop, we’ve heard much more, ‘Here’s the reasons it should stay,’ in support of keeping it. . . . Now, we’ve also heard it’s something that some can view as offensive. So that’s something we’ve got to look at.”

Mellinger points out that the Chiefs tried to eliminate the tomahawk chop in the ’90s, but that the decision quickly was reversed in reaction to negative feedback from fans.

Donovan didn’t mention whether the game-day tradition of banging a large war drum is under consideration, but it makes sense to explore all of the associated activities to ensure that they are not problematic.

Another thing not mentioned but that definitely needs to go is this: The habit of shouting “Chiefs” in place of the last word of the national anthem. At a time when many have become quasi-experts on what does and doesn’t constitute disrespect to the anthem, the flag, and the military, there can be no real debate that changing the lyrics to the song as some sort of rallying cry isn’t acceptable.

18 responses to “Chiefs address questions regarding team name, game-day traditions

  1. SWFLPC.INC says:
    July 14, 2020 at 2:24 pm
    They got their inch and now they are coming for their mile….

    Hardly an inch. And hardly a mile. And a look so who is “they”? And while we’re at it, who are you?

  2. So players are criticized for kneeling during the anthem but it’s OK for the fans to replace the anthem lyrics with team names?

  3. Within a year they will be referred to as the Kansas City team and in two years they will be “retiring” the name.

    I am not a proponent of this but I listened to an interview on a “national” radio station yesterday and the person was hailing the win over the “Washington football team” team and further stated her group advocates the renaming of all sport teams that draw from Native America n heritage. I was astounded. I hope I am wrong, but I do not think this has stopped with the renaming of the Washington team.

  4. Good luck policing the chop when half the stadium is doing it even without help from the sound or video system.

  5. There have been talks of the Texas Rangers doing away with their name as well. If people care about the survival of this developed nation, I would highly recommend those with a backbone to stop purchasing jerseys, tickets, bumper stickers, and other merchandise. Money talks, words do not. Stick to watching the older games.

  6. bigtimewhodat says:
    July 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm
    everywhere does ‘the home of the “nickmanes”‘ thing.


    They really don’t. Outside of the NL East I don’t know that I’ve seen it much at all.

  7. Just waiting for the narrative that sports are too violent and not good for the collective well being.

  8. Stop telling me what is and is not acceptable and we’ll get along famously

  9. The word Chief is not derogatory it is similar to King. So it’s completely different than the Washington situation

  10. As long as the Chiefs don’t literally prompt these reactions from the video screen r stadium speakers, they have no control over what fans do or say, nor are they responsible for what fans do or say.

  11. The CFL, XFL, and possibly the NCAAF are more American than the NFL will ever be right now. And, this is considering the fact that the CFL stands for the Canadian Football League. Imagine that?

  12. Get rid of the brainwashing use of the national anthem prior to all sporting events and most of the problem goes away automatically.

  13. “…there can be no real debate that changing the lyrics to the song as some sort of rallying cry isn’t acceptable.”

    Sure they can; that’s why it’s called a democracy.

    This statement is liberalism gone haywire.

  14. Seriously tired of being told how to “properly” respect the flag and the anthem. Trying to tell others how to be patriotic is arrogant and ridiculous.

    Home of the Chiefs is a tradition at Arrowhead. Lotsa luck to anyone who tries to keep it from happening. How about instead of getting upset and calling an entire fanbase unpatriotic, you just ignore it?

    Or go ahead and try to keep 76,000+ fans from doing it. Let us know how that works out.

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