The KC Chiefs’ team name is okay, but the organization needs to strongly consider moving on from the other traditions.
*THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN WITH THE HELP OF A SCREEN READER*
Recently the Washington pro football franchise has decided to change its team’s nickname and logo under considerable pressure from the public and team sponsors alike. The name and logo were viewed as racist and offensive to Native Americans.
While this matter has come to light in recent days due to the civil unrest in our country right now, it has actually been a matter of debate for quite some time and is nothing new.
Washington owner Dan Snyder has belligerently refused to change the team’s name and logo throughout the years, caving only now because he finds himself under the financial gun of multiple sponsors threatening to pull their dollars out from under him unless he submits to change. He has finally done so.
This is a change that should have occurred a long time ago, and indeed the name should have never been present when the team came into existence 87 years ago, and that is something we can all agree on.
Now we must sail into more murky waters, and explore the facets of a subject that may be a bit more divisive; a subject that may not have such unanimous agreement as the Washington franchise changing its name, and that subject is, what do the Kansas City Chiefs need to change, if anything?
I want it known, however, before going any further, I am not Native American. I am a 32-year-old white male, and I do not presume for one second to decide what is offensive and what is not for other people, these are just my opinions and nothing more.
While It might seem like the fallout from the Washington team changing its name and logo, are all teams with any Native American nicknames or traditions now under public scrutiny and pressure to make the appropriate changes?
This is actually a topic that has been around for quite some time, one that has been brushed under the rug in favor of a passionate fan base that does not want to change. This was made apparent when the Chiefs tried to do away with the Tomahawk Chop. As Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star noted, it didn’t go so well.
"The Chiefs tried to eliminate The Chop once, in the 1990s. The decision was reversed almost immediately after overwhelming negative responses from fans. That’s a long time ago, of course, and times change."
The Chiefs seemed to cave to that pressure, but as Mellinger noted, times have changed significantly since the 1990s. Let us look at the Chiefs and their traditions piece by piece.