The Kansas City Chiefs will no longer allow fans wearing headdress or American-Indian-themed face paint into games, among other changes before the upcoming season, according to a statement Thursday.
The Chiefs organization said the policy changes resulted from an ongoing dialogue with local American Indian leaders that the NFL team started in 2014, and recently expanded with a “national organization that works closely on issues affecting American Indian people and tribes.”
The statement says that the headdresses have been discouraged “for several years,” but are now banned from the stadium.
Fans who show up wearing American Indian-themed face paint will have to take it off before entering.
Team officials haven’t banned the “Arrowhead Chop,” in which fans chant while simulating a tomahawk chop with one arm, but say it is under “thorough review.”
The team is also looking into a “modified engagement moment” from the stadium’s Drum Deck that “better represents the spiritual significance of the drum in American Indian cultures” while still inspiring and unifying players and fans.
Some of the teams traditions won’t change this year:
“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.”
See the full statement.