The Chiefs reaffirmed their plan to keep their name last summer, but the controversy has followed them to Super Bowl 2021.
Ahead of Sunday’s showdown in Tampa Bay, a group of protesters gathered outside of Raymond James Stadium to make their voices heard about Kansas City’s team name.
“Stop imitating indigenous people,” one of the protesters said, according to a video posted to Twitter by Spectrum Bay News 9. “We are not your mascot!”
The man was holding a sign that read, “Change the name and STOP THE CHOP. END RACISM.”
In the wake of the Washington Football Team dropping its Redskins name last year, the Chiefs released a statement saying they had engaged in “meaningful conversations with the American Indian Community Working Group” to educate themselves. They announced changes to prohibit fans from wearing ceremonial headdresses into their stadium in Kansas City and said that face paint “that is styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions” would also not be allowed.
The team did not directly address the calls to change its name, but did say it was “engaged in a thorough review process of the Arrowhead Chop and plan to have additional discussions in the future.”
A recent report from CBS News said that the Native American rights group, Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality (FIREE), was planning a protest Sunday, though it was not clear if that was the group in the video.
“The Indigenous people of this land have already had a mass genocide approach with regard to their culture and way of living,” Alicia Norris, the co-founder of FIREE, told CBS News. “And when you further dehumanize them and objectify them, it just kind of falls in line with that extinction of who they are.”
The Cleveland Indians also announced in December their plan to change their name — which came after removing the Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms in 2019 — though they will keep using the name Indians at least until 2022.
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