Aug 20, 2020 - Sports

Kansas City Chiefs ban headdresses, Native American-themed face paint at stadium

Chiefs fans in Kansas City, Missouri, in February.
Chiefs fans in Kansas City, Missouri, in February. Photo: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs announced Thursday that the team will prohibit fans from wearing ceremonial headdresses and Native American-themed face paint in Arrowhead Stadium, following conversations with community leaders in the region.

Why it matters: The ban comes as the NFL and other professional sports leagues face pressure to cease the use of Native American names, imagery and logos in the wake of a nationwide reckoning over racism. The D.C.-area team formerly known as the "Redskins" has changed its name to the Washington Football Team as a placeholder until a new name is agreed upon.

What they're saying: "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 Chiefs said in a statement.

  • "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."

Go deeper: The complicated process of changing an NFL team name

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