New York (AFP) -
New policies announced Thursday by the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will prohibit supporters from wearing headdresses or Native American style face paint into Arrowhead Stadium when fans return.
The NFL club's move, following the dropping of the nickname Redskins by Washington's Football Team, come in the wake of greater cultural concern over racial injustice and social inequality following the May death of George Floyd while in police custody.
'Fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium,' the team said in a statement. '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.'
Still under review are two other Chiefs fan traditions, the 'Arrowhead Chop' cheer mimicking a Tomahawk motion and a pre-game beating of a drum by a celebrity or former Chiefs player or coach.
'We are engaged in a thorough review process of the Arrowhead Chop and plan to have additional discussions in the future,' the Chiefs said.
'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.'
The policies, coming after dialogue with tribes that began in 2014, were aimed at raising awareness of American Indian cultures and celebrating 'the rich traditions of tribes with a historic connection to the Kansas City area.'
'We are grateful for the meaningful conversations we have had with all of these American Indian leaders,' the team said. 'It is important that we continue the dialogue on these significant topics and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future.'
The Chiefs are scheduled to play host to Houston on September 10 in the first game of the 2020 NFL season.