As the National Football League begins its 2022 season, there is one team still openly mocking Indigenous People and bastardizing our culture with the sickening “Arrowhead Chop”. Kansas City needs to do better for this community that includes Native people.
Not in Our Honor is a coalition of local Native American leaders and American Indian organizations in the Kansas City metropolitan area who have been speaking out against the use of Native American stereotypes and the misappropriation of Native American culture. Additionally, Not In Our Honor sponsored a resolution adopted by the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) in 2020 to include in NCAI’s decades-long campaign for the Elimination of Race-Based Native Logos, Mascots, Names, Behaviors and Practices. https://notinourhonor.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/pdx-20-042-signed.pdf
The KC football team recently stated they have “now expanded our relationship beyond just the group in the Midwest that we’ve been working with,” regarding the American Indian working group. They do not mention the local, long-standing Kansas City organizations, leaders and community most directly affected by their brand, and are not part of the discussion. They also recently stated 31 tribes have participated in their American Indian Heritage “Celebration,” which is a half-truth. Individual Tribal citizens from various tribes have participated, and the number, if any, of official, Tribally-sanctioned participation is much smaller. The National Congress of American Indians, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization, which has campaigned against stereotypes and mascots in sports since 1968, called the Kansas City team one of the American sports businesses that “continue to profit from harmful stereotypes originated during a time when white superiority and segregation were common place,” and adopted the above-referenced resolution in 2020.
In 2005, the American Psychological Association called for the immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations, stating “Research has shown that the continued use of American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities has a negative effect on not only American Indian students but all students…” https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/indian-mascots https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/policy/mascots-justif.pdf
17 years after the APA report, the Kansas City Football team states on their website, “The Chiefs are committed to ensuring that our actions as a club honor American Indians.” Their name, imagery and behavior does not and will not honor us and Not In Our Honor Coalition will continue to protest their use of Native American imagery, culture, and heritage until they change their name and imagery to reflect the rhetoric painted in their endzone, “End Racism.”
Not In Our Honor Coalition http://www.NotInOurHonor.com will be out protesting off Blue Ridge road across from the BP station, please join us in solidarity 5pm 9/15/2022
Rhonda LeValdo, Amanda Blackhorse, Thomas Ed Smith, Jimmy Beason, Shereena Becenti, Carole Cadue-Blackwood, Gaylene Crouser, Kansas City Indian Center