Sports

Native American group blasts Chiefs for ‘mocking our culture,’ calls team’s ‘end racism’ message ‘ironic’

A Native American group, the “Not In Our Honor” Coalition, protested the Kansas City Chiefs’ namesake before the team’s game on Monday because they feel the team is “mocking our culture.”

Rhonda LeValdo, the founder of “Not In Our Honor,” spoke to Fox News Digital explaining why the group needed to be present at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium before the contest against the Las Vegas Raiders, especially on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

“It is sad that even though we have won a victory with the renaming of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day to recognize the true history of this country, we celebrate that but also we have to deal with the KC football team perpetuating a racist stereotype all around the world and mocking our culture,” LeValdo explained. 

“Those outside our country think we like it and we approve, and we wanted to be there tonight to show the team and fans we don’t approve of this and they need to stop using our culture. The statement they (KC) put out is very hollow because they have never engaged with us or the KC Indian Center, only with their own group who agrees with them. I would like to know who this national organization they are working with is, because the National Congress of American Indians put out a resolution specifically calling them out.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 23: Kansas City Chiefs fans react against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 23: Kansas City Chiefs fans react against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022.
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

“KC knows what they are doing is wrong, they banned the headdresses, face paint, but it is still racist. The whole message on the helmets is ironic, with stop hate and end racism, do they not realize they are being racist against one specific race of people by doing the chop? 

“We needed to be there to stand for all our Indigenous family that objects to their cultural appropriation, and we are always glad to represent our people.”

NATIVE AMERICAN GROUP PROTESTS CHIEFS’ NAMESAKE ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY

The Chiefs’ statement LeValdo is referring to comes from the organization’s acknowledgment earlier Monday regarding Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

“Today the Chiefs organization joins people all across the country in recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a chance to honor and celebrate American Indian peoples, histories and cultures,” the statement read. “We continue to have important dialogue with local and national groups to identify ways to educate ourselves and our fans by raising awareness of American Indian communities and their rich traditions. We look forward to celebrating American Indian Heritage Month of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 27, when we take on the Los Angeles Rams.”

General view of the Kansas City Chiefs helmet prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

General view of the Kansas City Chiefs helmet prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
(Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

The Chiefs did ban headdresses, costumes and face painting that resembles Native American cultures two seasons ago, as LeValdo alluded to. The National Congress of American Indians issued a statement in 2020 after the Chiefs made that announcement, saying they hope the team uses it as a first step to more changes.

“NCAI views the Kansas City Chiefs’ announced modifications as positive yet modest initial steps in a long and ongoing educational process that ultimately will lead to comprehensive change, change that respects the humanity, diversity, resiliency, and vibrancy of tribal nations, cultures, and peoples. We remain committed to this process as long as the team and the NFL remain committed to genuinely listening and learning,” their website stated on Sept. 10, 2020.

CHIEFS’ CHRIS JONES CALLED FOR VERY QUESTIONABLE ROUGHING THE PASSER PENALTY, NFL FANS EXPRESS DISPLEASURE

“Not In Our Honor” is a Native American group of students from Haskell University and the University of Kansas, who have been protesting the namesake of the Chiefs for quite some time. 

One of them came during the 2021 Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a fly-over banner that read: “Change the Name and Stop the Chop!”

Like the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Blackhawks, the Chiefs are one of the remaining teams that still have names with Native American ties. Teams like the Washington Commanders and Cleveland Guardians have since changed their names due to pushback. 

General view of Kansas City Chiefs helmets being taken off the field after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

General view of Kansas City Chiefs helmets being taken off the field after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
( Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Future protests are expected at the rest of the Chiefs’ home games this season.

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