When the Kansas City Chiefs take the field for their home opener against the Houston Texans Thursday evening, you can expect some changes to one pregame tradition. The infamous “Tomahawk Chop,” synonymous with the ceremonial banging of the drum, will have a subtle yet respectable modification.
According to The Kansas City Star, Native Americans will still bless the large ceremonial drum as they’ve done in seasons past. This time around, a disclosure will be made ahead of the drumbeat that reiterates that game day traditions are a “privilege.” The publication also states that supporters will be invited to participate as well.
“Admittedly it’s a subtle change,” Chiefs president Mark Donovan said of the new protocol. “But it’s a step, and it’s a change.”
Nonetheless, it’s a step in the right direction, listening and learning from ethnic groups who can provide better insight.
Chiefs Consulted Two Different ‘Working Groups’ Ahead of the Revision
Per Donovan, Native Americans from regional tribes and the National Congress of American Indians were both advised ahead of the pregame ritual. They were working under tight deadlines, but it nonetheless a bold move in combatting the ongoing fight for cultural inclusion.
“For us, it’s trying to find that balance,” Donovan explained. “Knowing our fans are going to do this, no matter what we do. If we can change it into the beating of the drum, we think that’s better than the chop.”
A sight to see 😍 pic.twitter.com/4GkL6oN1J6
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 9, 2020
Donavan understands the team will undeniably face objection. However, keep in mind it’s part of a long-term process to ensure minority groups will no longer be exploited under the pretense of camaraderie. Regardless of your personal opinion, Kansas City’s front office are keeping their commitment to listen and learn from past behavior in order to create a more inclusive environment for their millions of fans in Missouri and across the globe.
“This is a process,” Donovan concluded. “This is years. We’re going to do this, and hopefully it’s well received and we’ll continue to do more.”
Reminder of Arrowhead Stadium Policies
As fans plan their game day outfits and prepare their tailgating menus, it’s important to remember the policies outlined by Arrowhead officials. If you need a refresher, the team outlined the new rules in a video posted to their Twitter feed.
The new normal at Arrowhead Stadium 🏟 pic.twitter.com/ANTw5i9x4A
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 22, 2020
In short, the organization listed these four rules on the official Chiefs website. If fans are able to adhere to them, it should be an enjoyable experience for both Chiefs Kingdom and stadium employees.
- Know your zone and have a game plan.
- Wear your mask at all times, even while seated.
- Maintain social distance throughout your visit.
- Have patience and know we are all in this together.