What’s the Super Bowl without a touch of controversy?
Ahead of Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas, Nevada, a Native American group from Kansas City, known as Not In Our Honor, is demanding significant changes from the Chiefs.
The group, led by activist Rhonda LeValdo, is calling for the Chiefs to alter their name, logo, and the tomahawk chop chant. LeValdo has traveled to Las Vegas to protest the team’s continued use of these elements.
Expressing frustration, LeValdo stated, “I’ve spent so much of my personal time and money on this issue. I really hoped that our kids wouldn’t have to deal with this. But here we go again.”
Having resided in the Kansas City, Missouri area for over two decades, LeValdo is deeply invested in this issue.
In the aftermath of the 2020 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, several sports franchises implemented changes. The Washington team responded to longstanding calls from Native advocates like Suzan Harjo and dropped its name, which was considered a racial slur. Similarly, in 2021, the Cleveland baseball team changed its name from the Indians to the Guardians.
Ahead of the 2020 season, the Chiefs took measures to prohibit fans from wearing headdresses or face paint that appropriated or referenced Native American culture within Arrowhead Stadium, although some fans continue to do so.
Additionally, the phrase “End Racism” was prominently displayed in the end zone, and players affixed decals to their helmets with similar slogans or the names of Black individuals who had been killed by police.
Reflecting on these actions, activist LeValdo remarked, “We were like, ‘Wow, you guys put this on the helmets and on the field, but look at your name and what you guys are doing.'”
The Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers are slated to kick off at 6:30 p.m. E.T. on Sunday evening, with the game airing on CBS.