KC Chiefs games now have a prelude. Indigenous Persons and allies call to drivers coming to park at Arrowhead Stadium, “Change the name! Stop the chop!”
Gaylene Crouser, executive director of the Kansas City Indian Center, says, “We call for changing the name primarily because it’s affected the children.” According to the American Psychological Association, research indicates that Native American mascots and imagery of ball teams “affect not only Native American children but all children,” says Crouser. Such mascots “promote stereotypes and lead to cultural appropriation,” she adds.
Responding to fans’ pressure and sponsors’ requests, the Washington Redskins are now temporarily the Washington Football Team (another name to be determined), and the Cleveland Indians are the Guardians Baseball Team. “We’re making headway!” says Crouser. Recently, the name of Shawnee Mission North High School’s football team changed from the Indians to the Bisons, and three elementary schools in the Shawnee Mission district are removing their mascots—Indians and Braves.
Every organization serving Native People in the KC area is opposed to the Chiefs’ name and other stereotypes, says Crouser. A petition concerning the name change is at https://endracismkc.org/.
Dates: Nov. 7 and 21
Time: 1:30-3:30 pm
Location: Bus stop on Blue Ridge Cutoff across from the BP gas station—on public property
Parking: In the lot at 9150 E. 41st Terrace, KC MO, at the Center for Developmentally Disabled, which charges only $15 for parking (instead of the $20 at other locations near the stadium). The center encourages car-pooling.
Need a ride? Want to drive others? Contact Henry Stoever, 913-206-4088, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posters: Some signs are available. You can also make your own, such as Love the Team—Not the Name.
“The fans will still be fans even if the Chiefs change their name!” says Crouser.
—Jane Stoever of PeaceWorks-KC interviewed Gaylene Crouser for this story.