Chiefs’ fan culture forces my hand in Super Bowl

first_imgBut what their fans do is pretty much the same, or at least, not far from it. They show up in droves to Arrowhead Stadium wearing headdresses, feathers, war paint — the whole nine yards. They do their tomahawk chop with the same chant used by the Florida State Seminoles and Atlanta Braves, two other sports teams that should really rethink things.  The Super Bowl is still two days away, so maybe there’s time for me to have a change of heart. Maybe I’ll realize that while the organization and especially the fans are slightly messed up, the players have nothing to do with it and shouldn’t have to pay for it. Maybe I’ll reason that guys like Patrick Mahomes, Damien Williams and Travis Kelce are good guys and — wait, Tyreek Hill is still on the Chiefs? I’m an Eagles fan. Wait, no, that was a bad first impression. Let me explain. I’m not “one of those” Eagles fans: I don’t punch horses, I have never thrown batteries at people and I do not shout vulgarities at 99-year-old Minnesota Vikings fans. I have booed Santa Clause, but that’s because he’s a fraud. Of course, none of these organizations or schools have anything to do with Native American communities; they do very little or nothing for them and surely neglect to sufficiently weigh the objections of Native American people who rightfully claim that this sort of practice is out of line.  I’m a good Eagles fan, specifically one that used to fantasize about going cheeseburger-for-cheeseburger with Andy Reid. At face value, I want that man to get his much-deserved championship — one that he may or may not have been cheated out of by a certain spying team in 2005 — even if it’s with the Kansas City Chiefs and not my Eagles. I wish it was that simple. Unfortunately, it’s not. Because I can’t root for a team whose fans constantly appropriate Native American cultures and collectively do the tomahawk chop at home games.  The Chiefs are the Washington Redskins but a little bit better. The latter’s offenses are one of the most hotly debated topics in the world of sports — for obvious, justified reasons — but somehow, the Chiefs’ fly relatively under the radar.  I want to re-stress that the Chiefs are not the proverbial posterboy of anti-Native American racism in the NFL, nor should they be treated as such. That title is firmly and fittingly secured in a chamber of hell just a few miles from the nation’s capital, guarded by the devil that is Dan Snyder, whose level of awfulness Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has not approached.  In addition, I hail from the Bay Area, which means I’ve spent 20 years living alongside San Francisco sports fans. Let me tell you, many of them — the majority — are, in the most respectful way, often difficult to put up with (that’s for another column, just take my word for now). Seriously, stop saying Jimmy Garropolo is good. The reason he’s the face of the franchise is literally that: his face. (Don’t lie to yourself, he’s a good looking dude.) In that respect, anything that brings down the collective ego of San Francisco sports fans, I’m all for. center_img Nathan Ackerman is a sophomore writing about sports and sociopolitics. He is also an associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Courtside,” runs every Friday. I’ll give the Chiefs some extremely measured level of props — unlike the Redskins, their team name is not literally a derogatory term used to discriminate against Native American people. For that, I applaud them — I guess. I will praise the Chiefs — or, rather, berate them less. Supposedly, as of 2017, the team had asked broadcasters not to show fans dressed in Native American-themed costumes — but they still don’t have the nerve to ban such images at their stadium outright. Translation: ‘Don’t expose the fact that we’re borderline racist, but we’re not going to stop doing it because it helps us win games.’ Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest venues in the NFL and has even reached world record decibel levels for a sports crowd. Correct me if I’m wrong, but some decency in the clothing realm shouldn’t obstruct the sound waves too much. Nevermind. Quest for Six, baby.  As far as my personal rooting interests are concerned, Super Bowl LIV is a lose-lose.  But less wrong, even if significantly less wrong, is wrong nonetheless.  There’s another layer to this. Wouldn’t it feel wrong if — on the day that arguably screams “American” more than any other day on the calendar — the team that stood atop the mountain of America’s most American sports league was one that essentially mocks the cultures of the first real Americans?last_img

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