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BigRedChief 06-25-2014 11:01 PM

Woman behind the Redskins name change says the Chiefs should be on guard
The fight took a monumental shift at a protest nine years at Arrowhead Stadium and it’s about to come full circle. No matter what you think of the issue, it will soon be ubiquitous in and around Kansas City’s greatest obsession other than barbecue.

The Chiefs are aware of it, and are preparing accordingly.

Back in 2005, a group calling itself Not In Our Honor protested before the Chiefs played Washington. The protesters were predominately American Indians, united in their anger over what they perceived as offensive stereotypes passed off as nicknames for sports teams. An older woman, Suzan Harjo, one of the leaders of the protest, met a younger woman named Amanda Blackhorse, then a student at Kansas.
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</aside>They bonded over their passion for the issue, and that’s how the case known as Blackhorse et al v. Pro-Football Inc. came to be. Last week the plaintiffs prevailed when the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademarks of the Washington Redskins.

The case is under appeal, but you should know that the woman who took on and (at least for the moment) defeated the corporate entity that owns Washington’s NFL team would like to see the same type of case brought against the Chiefs.
As she says, the spark that started back in 2005 at Arrowhead has created a fire that will probably soon return.

“What happens there, it’s just insane the things they allow to go on,” Blackhorse says of the Chiefs and Arrowhead. “They are definitely in the group (of offensive teams), for sure.”

For now, the Chiefs are publicly silent on this. But they know the fight is likely coming, and they hope a few things work in their favor — most notably that it’s tough to compare their nickname with the one in Washington that is a dictionary-defined racial slur. Blackhorse’s group has also protested baseball’s Cleveland Indians, and that team has greatly scaled back its use of the cartoonish Chief Wahoo logo.

The Chiefs have similarly scaled back some of their more obvious plays on Indian stereotypes, and they hope they have some other advantages when the fight comes. The team is named after H. Roe Bartle, the mayor who was key in Kansas City landing the team from Dallas in 1962. Bartle’s nickname was “The Chief.”

The team stopped using a man dressed in traditional headgear as a mascot during pregame festivities many years ago. In the early 1990s, many of the Chiefs’ defensive players posed for a poster that today both looks absolutely ridiculous and would never be recreated.
The team does, however, play the tomahawk chop during games and welcomes fans in headgear and other stereotypes of Native American dress.

Those are some of the parts of the game day experience that Blackhorse calls “insane,” and why she expects a fight that’s gaining momentum and support nationally to come to Kansas City.

She knows that the vast majority of Chiefs fans will oppose her, but she also knows that the vast majority of fans in Washington opposed her, as well.

She says there is “no middle ground with this issue,” that once an ethnic group is used as a nickname for a sports team, the people in that ethic group lose control of their identity and humanity.

“I don’t want people to think I’m going around pointing fingers, like, ‘You’re a racist, you’re a racist, you’re a racist,’ ” she says. “That’s not the point. The point is we’re offended. You can love Native Americans to death. You can have admiration, love what we do, how we are, whatever, and still (hijack) our culture without understanding it that way.”

Wherever you stand on this issue, there is no denying that Blackhorse’s side is making progress. Teams are sensitive to and aware of perpetuating stereotypes so much more than in the past, in response to public sentiment.

The issue is further complicated by context, that this is a fight centered around Indians, who make up about 1 percent of the nation’s population and who, in Blackhorse’s words, “are invisible sometimes to people.”
That makes getting the message out a bit more difficult. A group of people that feels offended by widespread stereotyping isn’t big enough to get critical mass on its own.

That’s why Blackhorse says the movement needs the help of non-Indians, and part of why she’s so encouraged by developments in Congress and with the trademark case.

There is a lot of momentum here, which can be dangerous for teams like the Chiefs that will likely soon find themselves directly in the fight.
“I’m not sure there’s anything the (Chiefs) can do at this point other than look for another name,” Blackhorse says. “They could be the team that says, ‘You know what? We understand the issue and we don’t want to be Dan Snyder and fight this in court forever. We want to do the right thing and move forward and avoid this entire battle.’ I’m sure fans will be upset, but still, that’s doing the right thing.

“If they want to be sensitive to Native American people, that’s the thing to do.”

Early 90's

Chiefs Pantalones 06-25-2014 11:03 PM

**** off, insecure, over-sensitive indian lady.

Prison Bitch 06-25-2014 11:06 PM

Obama came out against the Redskins. Wonder if he will do te same here.

007 06-25-2014 11:09 PM

God I forgot about that pic. LMAO

Deberg_1990 06-25-2014 11:09 PM

Kansas City Jazz would rule!

But that might offend music lovers.

ChiefsCountry 06-25-2014 11:10 PM

Who were the dumbasses that came on this board trying to change our name?

ChiefsCountry 06-25-2014 11:11 PM

If the pc police get their way - Kansas City Wolves. Play off the Wolfpack theme.

BucEyedPea 06-25-2014 11:12 PM

Peta will complain over wolves.

Just Passin' By 06-25-2014 11:17 PM

Once you give in to the offended crowd, they find more to be offended by. Who knew?*

*Well, other than everyone who's ever studied history

TimBone 06-25-2014 11:35 PM

Someone should calmly explain to her that we're named after the mayor of the city when the Chiefs came to town. I'm certain that would clear this up, quickly. All parties involved seem to be of level heads.

Tribal Warfare 06-25-2014 11:35 PM

Bitch, you used the "Sioux slur" in your ****in ad which is offensive to the Lakota tribe.

Get your shit straight before casting stones.

Hammock Parties 06-25-2014 11:39 PM

From my cold, dead hands, lady.

**** you, lady. This is America. We have the ****ing right to enjoy our football team and it's god damned sacred traditions.

You **** off and find something important to whine about. Something that matters. This doesn't matter to anyone. Except US.

underEJ 06-25-2014 11:44 PM

I don't care if they change the chiefs or not, but using Bartle as an excuse to keep the name is bull shit. He was a grown man in a cheap boy scout Indian costume. His image is way more offensive than warpaint ever was.

ThaVirus 06-25-2014 11:45 PM

I wouldn't even give a shit if we got a name change. I think it would be kind of cool actually.

Hammock Parties 06-25-2014 11:46 PM

I may be ****ing miserable about this football team. They may have turned me into a soulless, evil little shit that hangs around here only to laugh their misfortune. I may have only been to one game in the last three years.

But they are still MY ****ING FOOTBALL TEAM. And I will be god damned if this lady is going to take away my right to feel and know and say the CHIEFS won a SUPER BOWL one day when I get my love for them back.

I will be god damned, lady.

We're the ****ing CHIEFS.

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