NFL Condemns Chiefs Fan’s Offensive Blackface and Native Garb Costume


It takes a lot to disrespect two groups of people at once. But on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, a Kansas City Chiefs fan found a way to hate Black people and the Native American at the same time.

It was as if

Jon Gruden’s emails
had come to life.

The image of a Chiefs fan in Black face wearing a Native headdress during a road game leads to so many unanswered questions.

Why did the camera person give this fan the attention?
Why did the producer allow that camera angle to be aired at all?
Is that fan a kid/teenager or a young adult?
Despite their age, who taught that person that what they were wearing was appropriate?
The answers to all of those questions lead back to the NFL. While it isn’t the league’s responsibility to stop racism and hate from being taught in the home, they are a league that has relentlessly participated in prejudice. If the NFL had outlawed the chop at Chiefs games and been more aggressive in changing the team’s name, then we wouldn’t be here.
There’s no place for a franchise to be called the “Chiefs” in a league that’s already eradicated “Redskins.”
“There’s no pretty way to mascot people,” Amanda Blackhorse, a Native American activist and an organizer of a pre-game protest rally, told

USA TODAY Sports

, earlier this year.
This is what happens when you ban books, stand against Critical Race Theory, and try to erase centuries of hate. You give future generations the ammunition they need to evolve and recreate racism better than before.
“We are committed to Inspire Change and the social justice work that inspires change for the long-term,” Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility, told

The Associated Press
back in 2021. This was the time when the league was beginning to allow players to wear decals on their helmets that read Stop Hate, Black Lives Matter, Inspire Change, and Say Their Stories, as part of the NFL’s “social justice initiatives.”
Notice how it’s usually referred to as social justice and not racial justice, as a way to soften the hate. It’s an orchestrated way to distract you from the core issue.
The idea that it takes all of humanity to end racism is not only asinine, but insulting and infuriating. By doing that, you’re taking away the responsibility and necessity of accountability from the ones who created it and actively participated in it.
It’s also cruel to expect the oppressed to assist their oppressors in the termination of their own oppression.
And if you’re wondering if the NFL is delusional enough to believe that their end zone slogans are making a difference, you’re correct. The league is beyond sensitive when it comes to their “message.” In the preseason, there was a rumor floating around that “Play Football” would be the new motto etched on the field. When Deadspin contacted the league about it, we received a prompt response (12 minutes) saying otherwise.
“There’s been no change from previous years. Beginning with the regular season, clubs will have in end zones stencils featuring “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism,” wrote Brian McCarthy, the league’s Vice President of Communications, to Deadspin in an email exchange. “Play Football’ was featured for preseason as part of a league initiative.”
As of now, the league hasn’t released a statement on what took place in the stands in Las Vegas on Sunday. That photo of that fan floating around on the Internet is beyond a bad look for a league, while simultaneously being what should be expected from the NFL.
“The NFL stands with the Black community, the players, clubs and fans,”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell once said
. “Confronting systemic racism with tangible and productive steps is absolutely essential. We will not relent in our work and we will redouble our efforts to be catalysts for the urgent and sustainable change that our society and communities so desperately need.”
Three years after Goodell made that comment, the league is worse off than it was when the commissioner was scrambling during America’s “racial awakening” in 2020. He apologized to Colin Kaepernick, “allowed” players to kneel in peaceful protests and promised that things would change. Nothing has. And after what we saw on Sunday, it feels like nothing ever will.