The Kansas City Chiefs have announced that fans will no longer be permitted to wear headdresses to Arrowhead Stadium. The team posted a statement listing the new policies for the 2020 season to its official website:
• 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.
The team also announced that it will engage in a “thorough review process” of the Chop:
• 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.
The Chiefs’ statement noted that it began a dialogue with a group of local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds and experiences in 2014, which will continue as the team considers additional changes to its policies.