Super Bowl protesters demand Kansas City Chiefs ditch name, tell fan there’s ‘no such thing’ as America

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Phil Keating reports from outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

A small group of protesters rallied in Tampa, Florida, Sunday ahead of the Super Bowl to demand the Kansas City Chiefs change their name and urge fans to stop performing “chop” gestures in the stands.

“We are not your mascot,” protesters could be heard chanting in video of the protest outside Raymond James Stadium on social media, in which many demonstrators did not appear to be wearing coronavirus face masks as they shouted.

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Protesters from the Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality and the Not In Our Honor group from Kansas City gather outside Raymond James Stadium before Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

One protester, identified only as Stewart, told Bay News 9 the Chiefs’ mascot was “shameful” and that the imagery did not “honor” Native Americans because it is about making money.

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“The ignorance that still in the 21st century…we as indigenous people have to fight for our own dignity, our own way of life, our respect,” he said.”They say that they’re honoring us. Where is the honor? There is no honor in that.

He went on to use an anti-White slur on air:

“How come there is no Kansas City C—— team? There isn’t. How come you’re not honoring your own people?”

Another video showed a brief shouting match between protesters and a Chiefs fan outside the stadium.

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Protesters from the Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality and the Not In Our Honor group from Kansas City gather outside Raymond James Stadium before Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

“You ain’t in America, there ain’t no such thing,” one protester yelled at a fan who had said “entertainment makes too much money, it’s America,” and displayed a tattoo on his arm that included a Kansas City team logo and a feathered headdress.

“I put you on my arm, and I’m being disrespectful?” he asked. “Yes!” the protesters replied.

“We’re not discriminating, we’re supporting the team,” the fan later told Bay News 9 reporter Ashonti Ford. “A team that brings millions of dollars to that community.

The Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality group had earlier said it was planning a protest before the big game.

The protest comes shortly after the Kansas City Indian Center paid for billboards promoting a similar message.

“Change the name. Stop the Chop,” they read.

“They have the power to make actual change, positive change for social justice, and they choose not to use it,” Gaylene Crouser, the KCIC’s executive director told Fox 4.

Raymond James Stadium rises in the distance ahead of Super Bowl 55 Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The venue is hosting Sunday’s Super Bowl football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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After years of pressure from critics, the former Washington Redskins changed their 87-year-old name to simply the Washington Football Team over the summer. They also dropped the old logo.

Although the push to rename the Chiefs has not garnered as much attention as the movement in Washington, the team banned fans from wearing headdresses and indigenous-themed face paint at Arrowhead Stadium back in August, Fox Sports reported. Team officials also said they would review the fans’ chop gesture.

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