The Chiefs lost the Super Bowl and it's not just Kansas City fans who hope it's the last time.
In a Feb 7 article published for NBC’s “Think” section, activist and professor Simon Moya-Smith explains why he hopes the Chiefs never make it to the Super Bowl again … under their current team name, at least.
In response to the name backlash of last year’s Super Bowl, the Chiefs banned the use of headdresses and paint “styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions,” at home games. But this is just not enough for Moya-Smith.
“And what about other stadiums?” he asks as if the Chiefs have control over how other teams run their stadiums. “As it currently stands, a fanatical Chiefs fan could travel to any other NFL stadium and don a headdress, wear faux war paint, wrap himself in a loincloth and tomahawk chop all the way to his seat if he wanted to.”
Social justice warriors have been on a sports team name cleansing spree for a few years now. First, it was the Washington Redskins, a team named after real Native American warriors, and later with the Cleveland Indians. The result? The Redskins, now called “The Washington Football” Team, have been stripped of their regional origins and Native significance, something the owner claimed he would “NEVER” do. And though the Cleaveland Indians changed their caricature logo, their team had the gumption to declare they will not change the name until they decide on a new mascot.
Chiefs President Mark Donovan told CBS that consideration of a name change will continue but the team is trying to consider all opinions on this issue, fans and activists alike.
‘You are going to have opinions on all sides on what we should and shouldn't do,’ he said. ’We're going to continue to have those discussions. We're going to continue to make changes going forward, and hopefully changes that do what we hope, which is respect and honor Native American heritage while celebrating the fan experience.’
Avid supporters of changing the Chiefs' name cite the racist sins of fans dressing like a Native American chief, using the tomahawk hand gesture, and performing a drum “ritual” to open up home games. While the argument can be made that many fans are ignorant of Native American cultural symbolism, the average Chiefs fan is hardly “dehumanizing” Native Americans with unabashed racism, they simply like the team.
There is clearly room for improvement, education and discussion about the name among fans, the team itself and Native Americans. But identity politics, with their accusations of racism and virtue signaling are poisonous and divisive -- a high price to pay just so lefties can prove they were on the “right side of history.”
The Chiefs were just next on the chopping block but make no mistake, the Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Braves are likely next. How much longer will the Chiefs hold out? Or how soon will we have a mascotless Kansas City Football Team?