Kansas City Chiefs Release Statement Following Native American Group’s Protest Over Team Name

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Following Native American leaders in Kansas City once again asking the Chiefs to change their name, the NFL team is issuing a statement about the subject. 

According to Fox News, the “Not In Our Honor” Coalition, which is a Native American group that was founded by University of Kansas and Haskell University students, has been trying to push Kansas City Chiefs CEO and President, Clark Hunt, to change the team’s name. The organization further asked people to protest prior to the team going up against the Las Vegas Raiders. Monday was also Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

In response to the protest, the Kansas City Chiefs issued a statement. “Today, the Chiefs organization joins people all across the country in recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” the statement begins. “A chance to honor and celebrate American Indian peoples, histories, and cultures. We continue to have [an] important dialogue with local and national groups to identify ways to educate ourselves and our fans by raising awareness of American Indian communities and their rich traditions.”

The Kansas City Chiefs further explained that it’ll hold a celebration for American Indian Heritage Month, which is in November. “We look forward to celebrating American Indian Heritage Month of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, November 27th. When we take on the Los Angeles Rams.”

Native American Coalition Against Kansas City Chiefs Name Releases a Statement As well 

Meanwhile, the “Not In Our Honor” Coalition responded to Kansas City Chief’s statement by releasing its own remarks. 

“While we celebrate [Indigenous Peoples’ Day], we are also preparing for today’s battle!” The statement reads. “We are still erased in our opinions on the Native imagery in Sports! How ironic that we have to fight for our voices to be heard on our own day!”

The Coalition further called out the Kansas City Chief’s statement. “The KC football team’s message out today on our day is hollow. They have never engaged with us or the KC Indian Center (the main non profit that benefits our Native American people in KC).

Meanwhile, the Coalition says the Chiefs continue to “bastardize” the Native American culture with the use of the chop. “They do not honor us! Our voices are stifled! Stand in solidarity as we continue this movement to #ChangeTheName.” 

The Coalition also calls on the Chief fans to sign a petition to change the name of the NFL. Nearly 14,600 signatures have been collected from the petition. The petition is called the “Change the Name and Imagery of the Kansas City Chiefs football team.”

“It is an embarrassment to our city for the football team to continue to use a name and imagery from the pre-Civil Rights Act era,” the petition reads. “The Chiefs must change their name and discontinue their use of Native imagery and behaviors.”