In just a few hours, the Kansas City Chiefs will be inside Raymond James Stadium to play the Tampa Bay Bucs in Super Bowl LV.
Outside the stadium, there will be a ton of people gathered up to protest the team as a planned protest is urging the team to not only retire the team’s name, but to stop their fan base from using an in-game tomahawk chop ahead of Super Bowl LV in Tampa.
Alicia Norris, co-founder of the Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality (FIREE), told CBS News that the use of the name and chop are “dishonorable and disrespectful.”
“The Indigenous people of this land have already had a mass genocide approach with regard to their culture and way of living,” she said. “And when you further dehumanize them and objectify them, it just kind of falls in line with that extinction of who they are.”
Many fans in Arrowhead stadium break out in “war chants” while making a hand chop motion, imitating the Native American tomahawk.
The pressure on the Chiefs comes on the heels of the Washington Football Team having to retire the ‘Redskins’ nickname and imagery. The Cleveland Indians announced they’re getting rid of their nickname and two years ago, they dropped their controversial Chief Wahoo logo.
As of this writing, only 33 people from the created Facebook event have said they are going to protest, while 175 are interested in doing it.
“As we move through the 21st century it is time America began to respect the Indigenous Peoples. No other group of human beings suffers the weekly indignity of both racial and spiritual stereotypes trivializing and degrading their culture in a circus like atmosphere.
No other groups are racially trivialized into a mascot. There is no Kansas City Sambo’s, no Kansas City Chicanos, No Kansas City Crackers. There is no Kansas City Catholics where the mascot Pope does the lambada with mascot Nuns while tossing communion wafers on the field as the fans whoop it up in a pseudo-Gregorian chant while doing the crucifix chop, and remember this is honoring Catholicism, right?
If the Kansas City genuinely wants to honor people using the word “chief” they could readily work with the military and come up with an appropriate way in consultation with them to honor them. Instead, the Kansas City team uses face paint, headdresses and bizarre Hollywood inspired chants that mock Indigenous cultures and spirituality.
As we enter the 529th year of interaction between the dominant society and Indigenous peoples basic human respect should not be too much to expect. The US Civil Rights Commission noted in 2001 that killing a dog or Moose out of season is more of a crime than killing an Indian.
The crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women continues to increase with over 5,000 missing and murdered Native women in 2019. COVID-19 has exposed that many reservations including Pine Ridge (SD) and Navajo Nation have a significant percentage of houses with no pipes for running water or electricity. It seems America only wants to watch sports teams degrade, trivialize, dehumanize Indian people on weekends and turns a blind eye to the reality of Indigenous peoples in the America’s.
It is time for this practice to stop. We ask all human being to recognize that American Indians are Human Beings not sports team mascots for America’s fun and games. And join or support us on February 7th at 4PM at Raymond James Stadium.”