Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder on the field before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Why The Chiefs’ Name Is Not Like The Redskins


Last week, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office revoked the trademark for a number of brands associated with the name “Washington Redskins” currently held by the Washington NFL franchise.

I went to college in Washington, DC and so their team is basically my #2 team and I have continued to follow them since moving on from the area. Still, I think the ruling was fair and long overdue, but it raises questions about the fate of other sports team names alluding to Native Americans. Could the Chiefs face similar action?

I doubt it, but I think it is nonetheless a good idea to talk a bit about this touchy issue, not just as fans, but as Americans.

But first off, let’s look at the ruling itself. You can read the whole 99-page decision if you have a boring weekend ahead of you, but Vanity Fair

summarized it pretty well. The basic point is that the government does not provide trademark protection for names or logos that “disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute.”

The team argued that the name “Redskin,” while it may refer to Native Americans in a disparaging way, it has a different meaning as a name for a football team.

The trade board refuted the Redskins’ separate-meaning claim by pointing out the team’s helmets are decorated with the image of a generic Native American. The decision also cites some horribly kitschy photos of feather-headdress-wearing members of the Redskins marching band and the old Redskinettes cheerleaders.

Furthermore, they ruled that:

the Redskins name is indeed derogatory they cited: (a) the fact that in virtually all English-language dictionaries the word is labeled “often offensive,” “often disparaging,” “contemptuous,” or, at the very least, “not the preferred term” (thank you, O.E.D.); (b) the fact that the term has virtually disappeared from newspapers and other media outside references to football; and (c) the fact that prominent Native American organizations and a sizeable proportion of individual Native Americans find the term offensive.

So where does this leave the Chiefs? Well, the government’s reasoning for revoking the trademark for “Redskins” doesn’t really seem to apply to here.

First, this is because the word “chief,” short for “chieftain,” is not specific to Native Americans but is a generic term for a leader. defines it as:

chief  [cheef]  noun

1. the head or leader of an organized body of people; the person highest in authority: the chief of police.

2. the head or ruler of a tribe or clan: an Indian chief.

3. ( initial capital letter ) U.S. Army. a title of some advisers to the Chief of Staff, who do not, in mostinstances, command the troop units of their arms or services: Chief of Engineers; Chief Signal Officer.

4. Informal. boss or leader: We’ll have to talk to the chief about this.


a. the upper area of an escutcheon.

b. an ordinary occupying this area.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The second definition there is potentially problematic. Given the rest of the Chiefs’ imagery and the logo of a stone arrowhead, it is pretty clear that the name is referencing Native Americans. However, the word “chief” is not used exclusively to describe leaders in Native American tribal societies, but even European ones like Arminius back in the day. Nonetheless, the name is not in and of itself derogatory or disparaging.

So, I don’t think there’s much of a legal case for forcing it to change.

But should it change?

I’m sure some activists would also say that any attempt by the majority ethnicity to use logos and imagery of minorities — in this case Native Americans — as fierce warriors is contributing to the stereotype that they are savage and hostile. I can certainly see that argument, but I can’t say I know what it is like to be on the other side of it.

For the record, I am of mixed Irish, German, Scottish and Cherokee heritage. But, I also recognize that I was raised essentially in the standardized White American Midwestern culture, not as a member of any of those specific communities.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been following the Scottish independence referendum with interest — mostly as a journalist, but also because I recognize some of my ancestors came from there. But, I don’t think my bloodline gives me any credibility in the matter. In the same way, I don’t think it’s special that I hit the pub like everyone else on St. Paddy’s and Oktoberfest. The closest I’ve been to a reservation was playing some Topeka High football games at the stadium of Haskell Indian Nations University.

By the way, Haskell’s sports teams are called the “Fighting Indians,” and their logo is a chief wearing a headdress.

So, for me the question is: Is there any way for a mainstream team followed by the majority culture to celebrate a type of minority figure or hero without being mocking, stereotyping or worse? I’d like to think so.

But, some compromise may be necessary. In 1989, the Chiefs switched their mascot from a man wearing a feathered headdress to the KC Wolf. That’s a change I don’t think anyone can be too upset with. But the arrowhead? The tomahawk chop?

I think there is plenty of middle ground here and while I personally don’t think the Kansas City Chiefs mock Native Americans any more than the Vikings or Spartans mock those with Scandinavian or Greek ancestry, I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to feel disparaged by the team or its logos.

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Tags: Chiefs Court Native Americans Redskins Ruling Trademark

  • Jordan

    Furthermore the team was named after the former mayor, respectfully endeared as “The Chief”.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Who received the name from the Arapaho tribe he was inducted into.

      • calciomoti

        Because he was a leader of a community right?

  • Dustin McLaughlin

    Like I said in the last post in this topic, there is always going to be someone somewhere that gets offended no matter what you do. There is a point where you have to tell people to grow up and deal with it.

    • tm1946

      Did not work so well for the DC team. A federal agency few care about told them, they were wrong and change it or lose big bucks.
      Not a whole lot of “tell people to grow up and deal with it”, is there.

      • Dustin McLaughlin

        Our government is so concerned with trying to please anyone who complains, that they alienate anyone who doesn’t. The people who are content with existing and allowing others to exist without butting in are the ones who get screwed. Apparently nowadays the only way to get anywhere in life is to have an agenda against someone else. Leaving well enough alone just doesn’t work any more. Sad days, and it is only going to get worse.

        • Andy

          Home run

      • calciomoti

        You realize those pushing the issue are actually people trying win votes right? Or do you believe the native American tribes who actually view this as offensive have decided to spend their hard earned casino money to fight an nfl team? Someone high up trying to keep his/her lofty social status had pushed the agenda to an area away from the legal voting area and into a confined financial entity controlling thought and the rights of ideas.losing those rights means losing dollars. If the people who pushed the uspto into this decision win…how does that look on their resume come voting time when Obama is through?

        Yet here we all are, being sentimental about some shit none of us have lived through…not our great great grand pappies either because they weren’t born yet, wondering how we would feel if our ancestors were HONORED as great strategic, battle hardened, wise and revered warriors by a sports team…smfh.

        I was told and have read by tribal members the color red was the warrior color throughout most native American tribes. Some had that color of skin, and when wearing a feather it meant they were warriors. I am sure the white people of that time used it derogatory. I don’t care how the word was used 150+ years ago. Definitions change through time, now it means a tough ass winning football team (throughout its history, Not the last decade).

        That’s what Redskins means now.

  • area

    I can see and hear it now from my cheap seats “and the home, of the, SPORTING KANSAS CITY II!”. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?

  • berttheclock

    I agree with you, Nicholas, but, according to Sam Mellinger, Amanda Blackhorse does not and she and her group have stated the Chiefs are in their sights for a law suit.

    Interesting you mentioned the term leader for Chief. Did you know the history of the naming of the Washington team? They originated as the Boston Braves because they played at Braves (baseball) Field in Boston. That baseball team had been named the Braves because their owner was a major power at Tammany Hall in New York. Tammany Hall had a wooden statue of the great Chief Tamarand from the Lenape band in the Pennsylvania area. He became a legend because he led his band to seek peace with the new settlers. Statues of him were used in many cities in order to honor him. However, the football Braves moved across town the next year to play at Fenway Park, the home of the Red Sox. The owner of the football team decided to change the name of the team to the Redskins. This followed them with their move to Washington. So, the football team does not really have the same argument which could be used by the, now, Atlanta Braves, which began in Boston before making their moves onward to Milwaukee and Atlanta. At least that team had been named to honor Chief Lenape. The Redskins were only named such to separate themselves from the name Braves. In the case of the Chiefs, the final version of the naming of the Chiefs came down to recognizing the work of H Roe Bartle who offered the Chiefs a sweet heart deal to come to KC. Bartle had the nickname “Chief” due to his work with the Boy Scouts. BTW, for years, there was another version of the naming of the new KC team and that one said they had a naming contest and a manager for a local truck line, “Chiefs” submitted the winning name. Now, that would give less validity to honoring any Native American. But, the Bartle version gives excellent credence to the name being an honor for a leader.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      And that’s what I mean by a compromise that might need to be struck in the end. If it truly is all about Bartle, then the arrowhead, the tomahawk chop, warpaint and all the rest don’t make a whole lot of sense.

      • berttheclock

        However, to better understand the term “Chief” given to H Roe Bartle, one must read of his extensive efforts in working both with the Boy Scouts and Native Americans, especially, his time spent in Wyoming. At one point, he was inducted into the Arapaho Nation due to work with Native Americans on reservations throughout Wyoming and he was given the name Lone Bear by a Chief of the that Arapaho band. He brought that great work to both St Joe and Kansas City. He installed an honor society with a Native American name. Once again, this proves Google can be your best friend in doing quick research.

      • Semilogical

        When the team was moved to Kansas City in 1963, the name was selected by a fan contest. Dig that one out of the Archives to see how the name was picked and the manner of how the fans got to vote on the name.

  • Matt Dickson

    Great piece Nicholas.

    The only exception I’d take with anything you wrote was comparing Native American or minority issues with groups like the Vikings and the Spartans. An important element of this issue is the “history of ethnic oppression” or “institutionalized racism” that has occurred in THIS country.

    That’s where a lot of the cultural sensitivity and angst is stemming from ultimately.

    Neither the Vikings or Spartans (or any group for that matter other than Native Americans, African Americans, Mexicans, Asians and the Irish) have endured institutionalized racism in our Nation. For that reason, I don’t think you can draw a parallel with just any international minority.

    This has less to do about minorities per se, than it does about our own history of social biases as a country.

    Other than that relatively small detail, I thought your piece was smart and thoughtful.

    • berttheclock

      Very true with one minor exception. During the frenzy of World War I, those with German names had it rough. Part of my family had come from Bavaria. My mom told me that Grandad would not allow any of his large family speak German out of fear of reprisals from town folks in the Argentine district of KCK. She said had he been able to afford it, he would had the Germanic name of the family changed.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      Thanks for making that point. It really should have been in the post itself, and I do understand that it is this history that makes this a special case. That’s why my question is if we can ever have a Native American-themed sports team name with allusions to Native Americans in its symbology that would be inoffensive to people in that community? Given that I don’t have much of a direct connection to the community, the symbols themselves — arrowheads, helmet horns, spears — are all pretty much the same to me. They’re allusions to warriors gone by. But, I would probably see all of that differently if I had grown upon a reservation. Btw, I recommend everyone watch this Ted talk by Aaron Huey, a photojournalist who spent a lot of time on the Sioux/Lakota reservations. If you’re wondering why Native Americans can’t just “let it go” it’s because they’re still living with history of oppression on a day-to-day basis.

    • KCMikeG

      So it’s ok to use a race of peoples’ name for your sports team as long as they have not been discriminated against? I don’t like the term Redskin and think the Cleveland Indian Joe is insulting but this whole thing is getting out of control. Should Notre Dame have to stop using the Leprechaun. For that matter maybe we should we stop celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It has become a reason to get drunk which is insulting to the Irish who have had their heritage stereotyped with drunkenness. Oakland and Tampa Bay have images of ruthless murdering criminals on their helmet but nobody seems to be worried about that. Should the Catholic Church sue the NO Saints to make them stop using their name? Next PETA will start suing teams with animal names. I can’t even begin to imagine how many hundreds of teams across all sports from Pee-Wee to the Pros that could potentially have to completely reinvent themselves and the costs associated in that endeavor. Instead of spending all this time and money over the use of images in sports, where the lawyers would be the biggest winners, maybe we should be doing more to help the races that have suffered from discrimination.

      • Andy

        Grand slam.
        Read today the the PC crowd doesn’t like the Army using ‘Apache’ or ‘Chinook’. I think we have reached the saturation point.
        You are right, it is the lawyers making money, not the Native Americans.

  • berttheclock

    Hey, Nicholas, has George Galloway weighed in on this, yet?

    September will be upon us very soon. NFL football begins and the Yes/No vote in Scotland. Rowling on one side and Sean Connery on the other. Wonder what Ian Rankin really believes?

  • Andy

    Ignorance is bliss. Let’s just listen to the 5 seconds sound bites, and decide the name is wrong. And thinking that the government should decide what is disparaging is a great path to go down.
    It is an honor to have a team named after you. It embodies and inspires the good that the name means. Do the ‘pelicans’ inspire? Hardly.
    A couple points
    1. The is political correctness gone amuck. Native Americans have never had a problem with the name, until liberals keep shoving it down their throats.
    2. If this were the chief’s and not the redskins, you wouldn’t stand for it, period. No one on this site would stand for it, and no one on this site thinks the name ‘chief’s’ is disparaging to Native Americas. Do you think the redskin fans are racists, or do you think they might think like us about our name.
    3. Don’t whine to me in a comment until you have read the link below.

    • berttheclock

      Except for the fact the group, including Amanda Blackhorse, bringing the patent challenge were all Native American. Yes, they may be a distinct minority among the many bands, but, they did present a cogent argument and they prevailed.

      • Deadmeat

        No common sense in politics. Sorry.

        • berttheclock

          I have no idea of the politics of the group bringing the suit. But, I do know they have said the Chiefs may be next and the courts are not going to take a poll of feelings among Native Americans to decide such. The legal team of the Chiefs better be preparing their defense strategy. I hope the Chiefs prevail.

          • Deadmeat

            I always think there is an agenda to these things. Money, politics. We seem to cater to all the extremist and the moderates pay. Common sense makes this not a big deal. Majority of Indians are not offended, so we got to change everything for a few.

          • Andy

            You are on a roll

          • calciomoti

            He is isn’t he! Harjo said herself, the majority are basically stupid and have been trained to think as such. Much like African Americans when they drop the n word…

            So the definition of a word almost 2 centuries old now determines the meaning of a word today?

            C’mon dude this lady wants to win,she wants powr and money. She completely displays this by complaining her culture it’s frozen in time…yes, yes it is frozen in time, just like knights, Vikings, monks, gladiators, Roman Legionares, Spartans…this is the only way her culture can regain any ground. To stay segregated as tribal members, but battle in our courts. To attack anything we do that includes them in history for their own financial benefit, if they do not receive funds if it does not benefit them, pursue legal action.

            I applaud them for their efforts, intelligence and strategy. But I whole heartedly respect their culture and right to their own opinion. My children are English, Welsh, German, French, Spanish, Mexicans…which I tell them to mark other, and fill in “American”. The melting pot had been turned long enough, to create a new race of Americans…the Oliveskins.

        • Andy

          So true.

    • Deadmeat

      Ya, just the liberals caused it. I think nowadays the word, liberal and conservative, are words of hate. Easy way to pass the blame and take no responsibility.

      • Andy

        Guess you didn’t read the article.

        • Deadmeat

          Where in the article, that I did read, did it blame the liberals? You brought your own hate to this.

      • Andy

        Actually you made a point. Too you, the words liberal and conservative’ are ‘hate’. Do we ban them, even though when they were first used, were used as accurate descriptions? We just can’t please everyone.
        Doesn’t matter which side of the isle you are on, liberals have been the speech police. Frizzlefry999 is right, so the name gets changed, heck, all the names, does that help the deplorable conditions that are on these reservations? Snyder is, at least putting a lot of money to help Native Americans.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      That’s not true. A number of Native Americans have had issues with their likeness and iconography being appropriated for sports for decades.

      • berttheclock

        In an article from Suzan Shown Harjo, she lists many different examples of high schools, universities removing symbols due to Native Americans fighting against said images being used. I have little regard for the arguments used by Snyder, but, I do feel the Chiefs, if they are using Bartle as the example, have far better standing and I hope they prevail against the Navajo American, Amanda Blackhorse and her group.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          From a legal standpoint, I cannot say how strong a case Blackhorse has. I will say that any argument that the team name is ethnically and culturally neutral is poorly conceived. Bartle was inducted into a Native American tribe, he created a Native-based honor society, you can find Google images of him in headdress, and the team’s been marketed with Native American imagery over the years. There’s just no way to sidestep that. The only question left is whether or not the team’s name, insignia, and marketing themselves are offensive and worth changing. Blackhorse thinks so. I’d love to hear a more in-depth explanation of why she does, but I think there are already concerns about the organizations usage of the team’s mascot and the accompanying imagery.

          • calciomoti

            I love this response Stacy! It completely solidifies how the name, and imagery are used as signs of respect! A native American honor society, induction into a tribe…the man was a reveared leader not only amongst his own peers but that of native American people as well.

            How this is offensive is completely beyond me. Unless of course, you need to win some far fetched case to bolster your own resume…or pocket book. You should look into blackhorse tactics, thoughts and opinions. Racism at its finest! There were times I wondered if maybe she actually lived through manifest Destiny, and suffered as they suffered…I mean with out all the casino money, and went from living off the land and one with nature into the English world, transformed into America. She is very intelligent to say the least.

          • Andy

            Just read that the PC police are offended at the Army’s ‘Apache’ and ‘Chinook’ helicopters.
            What a shame some are using the Native Americans to further a career or make money. I heard one Native American say that he thought it was an honor to see these names, that sort of kept Indian history alive.

        • frizzlefry999

          And what meaningful impact has these name changes had on Native Americans? Have all of the serious problems facing Native Americans dissipated, or even changed in the slightest? I doubt it.

      • Andy

        Stacy, to me, you are a respected chief’s fan.
        below is an article that talks about polls on this. Most Native Americans don’t have a problem with the name. The vast majority of both native and Americans don’t mind the name. Since everything offends someone, what number or percentage is the one that causes change? There are racists in this country, but this country doesn’t out up with it. (Sterling is a perfect example) of the name was that bad, America wouldn’t stand for it.

        We are next, no matter how much we respect our name. Who USED to ride a horse and throw a spear into the end zone, an American Indian. Political correctness took that.

        To me this is a bigger issue than a name change. Tradition, big government and the right to own a business.

        • Crystal AC

          I’m a Redskins fan and I doubt anything you say will convince them that their name isn’t as “offensive” as the Redskins. As much as people like to ‘hate on’ Dan Snyder, him prevailing in this fight is huge for other teams with Native American imagery. The Washington Redskins are the most recognizable team in the world with a NA mascot. If other sporting teams with lesser notoriety believe they’ll have a leg to stand on to defend their name once the Redskins are gone, they will be in for a big surprise. They’ve already threated to sue the Cleveland Indians for $9B and they will be protesters at KCC games this year. All I’m saying is that you should be prepared. It is only going to get worse going forward.

          • Andy

            The more I think about it, I’d like to follow the money.

    • trinity

      I checked this out like you asked me to Andy. I think your take on this is well thought out, however I do see the redskins issue differently.
      I think that redskins fans place too much stock in supposed “intent”. If someone pulls out a gun and shoots you, and they tell you they didn’t mean to do it. That they didn’t intend to do it. Tell me, does that make the wound hurt any less? Are you bleeding any less, and are you any less angry that they did it because they didn’t intend to? No way. So I think the redskins organization saying “we don’t mean for it to be racist, so therefore it is not racist” is misguided, and flat out insensitive in my opinion. Regardless of intent, it really is a racial slur. The “chiefs” moniker is not. The difference between the redskins and chiefs name is this. Say a team wanted thier mascot to be women. One team called thier team “ladies”. The other called them the “wenches”. Both are talking about the Same thing. But one is calling them something bad and disrespectful, while the other is celebrating them. See what I’m getting at? I think ultimately the redskins name will be changed.

      • Andy

        Of course I respectfully disagree. These names aren’t hurting anyone, physically or financially. Emotionally, I doubt it, at least not to a large extent. We can’t have a society where nothing offends no one.
        Two other issues. This has zero to do with Native Americans. This is a money grab for lawyers and special interest groups. The skin’s could change their name tomorrow, and not one Native American will actually be helped.
        Now let’s be consistent. I read the PC crowd doesn’t like the Army using ‘Apache or Chinook’. Oklahoma means ‘red man’. How about the chewing tobacco of the same name? you know I can go on and on. Tell me where it stops.

        • trinity

          I think the native Americans have a responsibility here. We know that the name offends some of them. Yet Snyder is saying that some aren’t offended by it. The native Americans need to stand together as one, unified voice. If they do that, the name will be changed. Racial intolerance is where we have to draw the line, to answer your question. But the native americans must unify.

    • calciomoti

      Great article!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    The most prolific Native American icons used in the sports world are the arrowhead and the hatchet. I don’t think that’s coincidental. There’s something to be said about how those images comport with stereotypes about Native American savagery. Secondly, I think there’s something to be said about a group of people being used as mascots.

    I do think the organization has done its best to distance itself from hurtful practices that reinforce stereotypes, but I’m not sure that’s sufficient. I am not Native American and I’m in no position to dictate what they find offensive. I think we should take a step back and allow them to decide how they want to be defined in popular culture.

    As a fan of this team for nearly 30 years, I’m absolutely attached to the team’s name, insignia, and historical imagery. It makes me a bit sick to my stomach to think about a potential name change, but I imagine having my heritage and culture misappropriated for profitable entertainment might be every bit as sickening.

    We should have some compassion and understanding about this.

  • Tony Parker

    Keep the name redskins and change the logo to a Potatao, problem solved.

  • Semilogical

    The Chiefs were actually named after Joe Bartle who was instrumental in getting the then Dallas Texans to move to KC. His nickname was Chief.

    • Kent Johnson

      His name was actually H. Roe Bartle, the H. stood for Harold. He was also Kansas City’s Mayor who 35 years prior, founded the Native American-based honor society known as The Tribe of Mic-O-Say within the Boy Scouts of America, which earned him the nickname, “The Chief.” He and all of the scouts that have spent summers at the camp in Osceola, Mo. that now bears his name have learned to have great respect for Native American culture due to the Mic-O-Say program.

      • berttheclock

        Harold Roe Bennett Sturdevant Bartle

      • Semilogical

        If you want to be strictly correct you got the name correct. It’s been a long time since I read about the Texans coming to KC in the KC paper.

        The main point I was making is that the Chiefs were not named after any indian tribe. The organization has used items since the inception of the name that could be related to American Indians, but as everyone has pointed out none of it is derogatory.

        As for the Redskins, I think the PC crap has gone overboard.

        Next step is to force anyone claiming to be African-American to prove that they were born in Africa and immigrated to the U.S. If they can’t they aren’t African-Americans, they are just Americans like all the rest of us. ONE Nation under GOD!!!!

        • Kent Johnson

          I totally agree with what you are saying, I just wanted to add some factual information.

          • Semilogical

            No problem – you know how us old guys are! 39 again last year.

  • frizzlefry999

    While I agree that the term “Redskin” is derogatory, there are larger issues facing Native Americans. Will changing the name of the Redskins really do anything to uplift or help a people that have major issues related to their reservations being barren patches of land with poor schooling and infrastructure? I don’t think so. Why don’t we spend our finite amount of time, attention, and resources tackling larger issues that might have a more significant impact? This whole thing seems silly when compared to other serious issues facing Native Americans.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      I think we can do both, but the name change is the easy one.

      • frizzlefry999

        That is my point. This is the easy one that really has no impact on anyone’s day to day life. What has changing the names of other high school and college teams had on the everyday lives of Native Americans? I would argue, zilch. So all that time, money, and attention (and let us not forget that keeping the attention of people today is incredibly difficult and should not be treated as a non-factor) has been squandered for a superficial improvement (and I use that word lightly). I do not think we can do both. Lets start with some bigger problem, like improving the schools on reservations, or creating and maintaining some basic components of infrastructure. If your kids had problems getting to their sub-par and underfunded school and you could not get to your job, assuming you had one, would you really give a S*** about the name of a sports team a thousand miles away? And if that is at the top of your list, I would argue that you are not facing any real struggle in your life.

        • Andy

          To those who want the redskins to change their name, let’s be constant.
          Oklahoma its two Indian words that mean ‘red man’. It is a long road to change all the state’s and cities names.
          What about ‘red man’ chew?

  • Andy

    It is pretty evident, if nothing else, the one thing we got is our love for the chief’s. Think we should stay in that lane.

  • steve james

    I as a person of native American Heritage am offended by this sites use of “arrowhead” in a commercial endeavour. I also think everyone should watch more George Carlin.

  • tm1946

    Not real sure where many of you have been hiding the last few years but PC thinking is rampant in the Courts, federal offices, politician, what passes for the media these days.
    Love the Chiefs but do not believe for a moment the truth has a thing to do with it. PC is what it is all about. It is a new America and not all that sure the KC Chiefs and their history fit all that well….. except maybe for the losing part of their history, PC types just love a loser.

  • cyberry

    The term ..”Chief” isn’t actually referencing to the Native American. It’s actually towards the social class given to the leader of the tribe.. only applying to a select few. I would think it’s honoring the heritage more than being being distasteful.. The Mascot is a horse.. American Indians didn’t invent the arrowhead, hatchet or bow and arrow..(all have been found in Europe since “early man”). Just because these terms or tools where used in their past time does not give them the right to decide when these references can be used. I have some Native American in me but mostly Irish… Let someone just try to change..The fighting Irish… there would be a riot.

  • Melvin Howell

    People today are too sensitive, they take offense at the slighted word. I do admit that the name Redskins is derogatory (it’s the same as if you called a team the N*ggers, no offense to African Americans) but the other names are just references (Chiefs, Indians etc). They mentioned Vikings and others but forgot to mention another one, the Boston Celtics who are referring to the Irish and have a Leprechaun as the logo. Do they have to change their name too? I think the Redskins should change their name because that is offensive but other teams names are not so we should just leave them alone.

  • cyberry

    Honestly, I think argument that the Chiefs where named after the mayor, which is true, sounds like we are making desperate excuses to the rest of the league. There isn’t one picture nor is his name in sight. The team name is know thought of the highly respected, chosen leader of a tribe. Not limited to Native Americans.. Let’s not play stupid because they have a horse called “war paint”, the stadium in named “Arrowhead” and on top of many dressing up they do a “tomahawk chop”…with a Indian kinda chant.. Just because we where named after the major 50 years ago.. That’s not the case now.. But it’s after a respected status symbol… The word Chief is used in many instances ..None for which is negative but actually opposite.. Next.. ban kids from dressing up as a Indian for Halloween..

  • cyberry

    I really don’t think they could make us change the named of the team. But..AT WORST.. change the Native American representation at the stadium or on uniforms..

  • berttheclock

    What freakin’ day is this? The Oregonian has Saturday listed on today’s paper. The various TV stations and internet sites have Saturday listed. But, without the musings of Laddie, it couldn’t possibly be Saturday.

    • ladner morse

      Bert, I’ll be off til August. Have a great July and I look forward to chatting with you then. ~Laddie

  • Phillip Maxwell

    In this Liberal day and age we live in evwybody get their wittle feelings hurt. What’s next? Are women going to take offense to the name Chargers? Are homosexuals going to take offense to the name Packers? Liberals going to take offense to the name Patriots?

    • berttheclock

      You really should spend more time perusing the political control of many states, the control of the House in DC and the filibuster power of the minority party in the Senate. Not to forget the five controlling the Supreme Court and many Courts of Appeal across the land. “Liberal” day is an absolute myth.

      • Phillip Maxwell

        Ah yes, political control Per state, I reside in Ca, my conservative vote is about as valuable as a Lin Elliot jersey.
        For the record….my original post was an ill attempt at sarcastic politically incorrect humor.

  • Scott

    Really good article. I guess the naysayers have never been called a name based upon the color of their skin. Simple as that-nothing more and nothing less.

  • Travis Forsyth

    At the end of the day, Dan Snyder owns the franchise and as the owner of the franchise, Dan Snyder can call it what the hell he wants to call it. So what gives a group of people who claim to be 2% Cherokee the right to make him (or atleast try to) change the name because it “offends” them? That kind of crap doesn’t fly with me and honestly (this is to all those who WANT the Redskins name changed), no one’s making you watch or to even like the team so shut up! If you really want the named changed, then come up with the $2 billion to buy the franchise, then you can call it whatever you want. But until then, Dan Snyder is the owner and the team will be known as the Washington Redskins just as they’ve always been known as since the 1930s whether you like it or not.