As Chiefs fans prepare to don their team’s signature gear (featuring their team name and signature arrowhead) and perform their famous “Tomahawk Chop” on Super Bowl Sunday, a group of Native American activists are working to ensure they never get to do it again.
LeValdo is in Las Vegas along with other activists to protest the Chiefs’ use of Native American imagery and nicknames.
Native activists and their supporters on the far left have had much success in forcing sports franchises to drop their nicknames. In 2020, the Washington Redskins re-named themselves the Washington Football Team after the death of George Floyd. The following year, activists convinced the Cleveland Indians to drop their name and signature mascot, Chief Wahoo.
The Chiefs and the Atlanta Braves are the last two major American sports franchises to have Native American nicknames and imagery.
Kansas City did, however, discontinue its mascot “Warpaint” in 2021.
According to LeValdo, she is driven to activism by the persecution and pain her ancestors endured.
“We weren’t even allowed to be Native American. We weren’t allowed to practice our culture. We weren’t allowed to wear our clothes,” she said. “But it’s OK for Kansas City fans to bang a drum, to wear a headdress, and then to act like they’re honoring us? That doesn’t make sense.”
As of this writing, neither the Chiefs nor the Braves plan to change their name.
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