Chiefs to prohibit fans from wearing headdresses at games, will review Arrowhead Chop

The team says anything that "references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions will be prohibited."

Sam Masterson
August 20, 2020 - 4:06 pm

(KFTK) - The Kansas City Chiefs announced new dress code rules for fans this season to prevent any misappropriation of American-Indian culture at games this season. 

The team released a list of changes that will be implemented at Arrowhead Stadium starting with the first home game scheduled for Sept. 10. 

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They include the banning of headdresses, face paint that is "styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures" and may also ban the Arrowhead Chop.

"As an organization, our goal was to gain a better understanding of the issues facing American Indian communities in our region and explore opportunities to both raise awareness of American Indian cultures and celebrate the rich traditions of tribes with a historic connection to the Kansas City area," the team stated.

The full list of changes are as follows: 

  • 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 announcement comes after another NFL team, now known as Washington Football Team, changed its name that was criticized for being an inappropriate representation of Native American culture.  

The Chiefs recently announced that they'll allow a reduced capacity of approximately 22% fans inside Arrowhead Stadium to kick off the 2020 season.

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