ArrowChop: Will the Chiefs have to change anything about their identity?

Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the isle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we breakdown this week’s hot topic.

Change is spreading throughout the edges of the United States where we are seeing new laws put into place to halt the number of wrongful police killings, statues of people being taken down that doesn’t represent what America is, and name changes of names that are deemed “unfit”, just to name a few. In the sports world, we are seeing teams changing their identities due to the fact that their names/identities are considered “racist” or “wrong”. The most prominent example of this would be the Washington Redskins as they are facing controversy with their name and people from all over are calling for a change in their name. With that said, the Chiefs are another hot target largely due to the fact that the team is based on Indian tribes and the team traditions, like the chop, have been criticized in the past. Today, I’ll be looking at things that the Chiefs won’t change and things that the Chiefs might change due to everything that is happening in the world.

(Side Note: Before I continue, I’ll say that everything that I’ll be saying is from a logical standpoint. You have a right to disagree with the points I’ll be making, but please don’t bash anyone (including me), even if you disagree highly with them. That isn’t right in the slightest and this should be for thoughtful debate.)

Things the Chiefs WON’T Change

The team name would be the first thing on the Chiefs list that won’t change. Chief could mean a number of things, but the true definition is “a leader or ruler of a people or clan.” For example, “chief” could reference many instances like chief of police, chief of staff, and so on. While chief is being used to reference Indian tribes in the name, it’s not stepping over the line of being deemed wrong and/or racist. That would be taking things way out of proportion in any case.

Another two things I want to lump together are the team’s logo and the stadium name as they both deal with the same talking point: an arrowhead. Arrowheads have been used by many nations throughout history from Europe to Asia. This means that the arrowhead doesn’t sit in one culture as it’s used in a broad area. Saying this should be changed/removed would be another thing blown out of proportion as it’s literally just an arrowhead. This all goes for the stadium as well.

Things the Chiefs MIGHT Change

The first two fan traditions that come to mind are the headdress/war paint that some fans wear during the games. Tim Giago, a Native American journalist, has stated in a column that, “The most common explanation for this overt racism is that ‘we are honoring Native Americans.’ Honoring? One does not honor another race of people by insulting and demeaning them.” He and many others believe that the paint and the headdress misappropriate Native images in a distasteful tone. I can see where they are coming from and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs banned this type of wear from their games.

The other tradition that I could see changing is the infamous tomahawk chop that is used by multiple teams from the Seminoles to the Chiefs. Back in 2016, a Native American group called for the Chiefs to stop using the chop as one of the members, Dr. Daniel Wildcat, stated that “It’s a stereotype, (and) it’s a fabricated notion.” Even others, like Ryan Helsley: a Native-American pitcher, have told reporters/others that the chop depicts Native Americans “in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren’t intellectual.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL jumps on this and tells the Chiefs and their fans to stop using the chop due to the reasons I have shown.

Overall, these are the things I see that the Chiefs will or won’t change about their identity. We will have to wait and see for the results of this, but what are your thoughts on all this? Be sure to leave a comment down below and remember to be respectful towards others.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!