The Kansas City Chiefs have made the decision to end the use of Warpaint, a longtime mascot for the team which was reintroduced back in 2009.
While the Kansas City Chiefs have had Warpaint as a mascot every season since 2009, the tradition of having the horse present at games is coming to an end. Monday afternoon, Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan announced the decision for the NFL team to distance itself from Warpaint.
The move away from Warpaint comes several months after the Washington Football Team rebranded itself and is in the wake of the discussion surrounding the decision for the Cleveland Indians to rebrand and become the Cleveland Guardians.
"“We just feel like it’s time to retire Warpaint,” Donovan said. “Lots of reasons for that, but we just feel like it’s the right thing to do. So Warpaint won’t be running at Arrowhead anymore.”"
While the current iteration of Warpaint was introduced in 2009, the history behind the horse goes back a little further.
According to the official Kansas City Chiefs website:
"“In 2009, the Chiefs wanted to bring Warpaint back for the franchise’s 50th anniversary. The club re-introduced Warpaint for the first regular season home game of the year.”"
Kansas City Chiefs: Will the team make a decision to change its name?
It seems unlikely that this is the last time the Kansas City Chiefs will be faced with the challenge of making a decision on its current use of names, traditions, mascots, and the like. Of course, this isn’t the first time either.
Back in 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs formally and officially banned the wearing of headdresses at games. Face paint “styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures” was also banned, according to a news release from the Chiefs.
At the same time, they stated that they were examining the Arrowhead Chop.
The discussion around that is still an ongoing one that doesn’t look to end anytime soon. According to a report from KMBC:
"Local groups have long argued the team’s chop and Warpaint traditions and even its name itself are derogatory to Native Americans.“We’ll continue the conversations,” Donovan said. “We’ll continue to take the path that we’ve taken. As I said, educating ourselves and educating our fans, creating opportunities to create awareness is important.”"
It’s not yet clear what the future holds for the Kansas City Chiefs and their current name and branding. After years of debate and discussion, the Washington Football Team made the decision to change its controversial name.
The Kansas City Star’s editorial board, right along with activist groups who are opposed to the current name, has applied pressure on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The discussion surrounding this is a national one that will be revisited frequently.