Chiefs to ban fans from wearing headdresses, face paint that references American Indian cultures

NFL Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 11: An exterior view of the eastern face of Arrowhead Stadium before a game between the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs on September 11, 2005 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won 27-7. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNT) – The Kansas City Chiefs released a statement Thursday, implementing measures that impacts how some fans may dress at games.

The Chiefs said for over the past six years, they’ve has been working with a national organization that works closely on issues affecting American Indian people and tribes.

Based on those conversations, fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium. Face paint is allowed, but any face paint that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions are prohibited.

The following measures/policies will be put in place going forward:

  • While we have discouraged fans from wearing headdresses for several years, effective immediately, fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium.
  • 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.
  • We are engaged in a thorough review process of the Arrowhead Chop and plan to have additional discussions in the future.
  • We are exploring all options for a modified engagement moment from the Drum Deck that maintains a unifying effect between our fans and our players but better represents the spiritual significance of the drum in American Indian cultures.
  • This includes discussions around how to shift the focus of the drum to something that symbolizes the heartbeat of the stadium.
  • As allowed by NFL guidelines and the City of Kansas City Health Department for the coronavirus-impacted 2020 season, we will continue with many of the traditions that we have introduced over the past six years, including the Blessing of the Four Directions, the Blessing of the Drum, as well as inviting members of tribes with a historic connection to our region to participate in our American Indian Heritage Month Game.
  • Finally, we are exploring the creation of a more formalized education program with input from both our local and national partners.

You can read the full statement from the Chiefs here.

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