Will KC Chiefs follow Cleveland Indians with name change?

Could the KC Chiefs be in the market for a new team name?

The Cleveland Indians will no longer be known as such, announcing that they’d be dropping the Indians mascot after years of protests from fans and Native American groups. This move comes five months after the Washington Redskins made the decision to change their team name due to similar complaints. With all of the teams whose mascots tie in with Native Americans, could the Kansas City Chiefs be the next team to be in the market for a new team name?

It’s obviously hard to say. After Washington dropped the Redskins part of their team name, this same topic was discussed heavily in Kansas City and the organization came out and said that they’d be keeping the name Chiefs.

The statement touched on how the franchise met with “a group of local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds and experiences” and the organization also discouraged fans from wearing headdresses or painting their face in any way that references American Indian culture.

While this decision was made last summer, with Cleveland’s baseball team now electing to rename their organization, more pressure could be put on the Chiefs to do the same. KC Kingdom’s own Cameron Black touched on this subject back when Washington dropped their team name and wrote about how he believed the team name of Chiefs was fine, but the organization needed to get away from the “traditions”.

It’s these traditions and images that are crossing the line into the realm of being offensive. When it comes to the painting of faces and the chop, you are no longer using a common term like “chiefs” for your team name, or adopting a common symbol such as an arrowhead for your team, you are now appropriating another culture that is not your own, to suit the needs of your own fandom and your sports team.

Most Kansas Citians know that the team name Chiefs is because of former Kansas City mayor, whose nickname was “The Chief”. Keeping the team name would be fine if the Chiefs steered clear of the Native American stereotypes, such as the Tomahawk Chop, logo, and the stadium name. Despite discouraging headdresses and face paint, the Tomahawk Chop music is still played, which encourages the fans to do the gesture.

Also, the logo and stadium both have Arrowhead references and those are two things that could be changed pretty easily. With every stadium having a sponsor now, it was only a matter of time before the stadium name changed anyway, so that seems like an easy fix. As for the logo, remove the Arrowhead and just have KC on the helmets. Easy fix.

I can’t tell you if the Chiefs will change their team name or not, but they’d be able to dodge criticism if they simply went away from some of the offensive traditions. Chiefs fans aren’t going to like any discussions pertaining to this but get used to it. Two pro sports teams have done away with their team names this year and the pressure is going to continue to mount for the KC Chiefs.

This is something that’s going to be brought up until either the team has a new name or the Native American imagery is done away with.

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