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The Kansas City Chiefs announced the organization is banning fans from wearing headdresses at Arrowhead Stadium and there will also be a ban on face painting “styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures,” according to a release sent out on social media.
- While we have discouraged fans from wearing headdresses for several years, effective immediately, fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium.
- Face painting is still allowed for all fans, but any face paint that is styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions will be prohibited.
- Fans will be asked to remove any American Indian-themed face paint prior to passing security screening outside the stadium.
- We are engaged in a thorough review process of the Arrowhead Chop and plan to have additional discussions in the future.
- We are exploring all options for a modified engagement moment from the Drum Deck that maintains a unifying effect between our fans and our players but better represents the spiritual significance of the drum in American Indian cultures.
- This includes discussions around how to shift the focus of the drum to something that symbolizes the heartbeat of the stadium.
- As allowed by NFL guidelines and the City of Kansas City Health Department for the coronavirus-impacted 2020 season, we will continue with many of the traditions that we have introduced over the past six years, including the Blessing of the Four Directions, the Blessing of the Drum, as well as inviting members of tribes with a historic connection to our region to participate in our American Indian Heritage Month Game.
- Finally, we are exploring the creation of a more formalized education program with input from both our local and national partners.
The Drum Deck referenced in the letter to fans is an American Indian-themed drum placed in a section of the upper deck where special guests would beat on the drum to fire up Chiefs fans. Just one year ago, the Drum Deck was getting a facelift and was prominently displayed on the Chiefs Facebook page. Now it sounds like the drum area will go under for another facelift.
It’s been a summer of change around the NFL, a league that now has a team called the Washington Football Team. While the Chiefs aren’t changing their nickname, it’s clear that Indian symbolism is being phased out by the organization.