Hearne: Star Columnist Stubs Toe on Chiefs-Redskins Comparison

chiefs-outdoor-arrowman-2_lightbox_detailSince when did it become a requirement for every liberal columnist in America to pen a hit piece on the Washington Redskins column?

Which is not to say that the name Redskins isn’t offensive, dated and dumb. It is.

However if all you’re going to do is rehash the same stuff everybody else has been bitching about for months – and with zero chance of having even the slightest effect – why bother?

Okay, it’s a Mary Sanchez column…

Let’s take a closer look.

For starters, when wading into a subject that’s been beaten half to death, it’s a good idea to try and bring something new to the table. Sanchez missed that boat by a country mile in yesterday’s column in the Star, “Washington NFL Team Should Follow KC Trend.”

Because clearly the facts don’t support Sanchez contention that the Kansas City Chiefs have cleaned up their act and are following a politically correct path.

Here’s how Sanchez frames her contention that today’s Chiefs are taking the high road:

“Years ago, our NFL franchise made the decision to stop offending the dignity of those native people, past, present and future,” she writes. “The Kansas City Chiefs chose to quit using cartoonish depictions of native people. The team’s management dropped the pretense that it was ‘honoring’ cultures it knew little about with hokey mascots, skits and ‘Indian’ themed paraphernalia.”

drum_336x250-1You can hardly blame the Chiefs for boorish fan behavior, Sanchez contends.

“The changes in K.C. don’t mean that all the Chiefs’ fans have gotten the memo,” she continues. “Show up at the stadium on any game day and you’ll see a few drunken fools with painted faces and ersatz Plains Indian war bonnets, whooping sounds they believe to be ‘native.’ But the Chiefs organization stopped encouraging them.”

Hold it right there…

“They’re still doing all that stuff, people really love that tomahawk chop,” says a Chiefs season ticket holder who asked not to be named. “They still chop and the Chiefs still play that phony Hollywood indian music.”

So much for the team not encouraging a “few drunken fools.”

For years the biggest criticism leveled at the Chiefs by indian groups has centered on the controversial tomahawk chop – chanted and acted out by fans and encouraged by the team which provides a “war chant” music bed to chop to.

61-69 chiefs logoGoogle “war chant” and “Chiefs” and you’ll find dozens of examples, including from a number games at Arrowhead last year.

And it’s not like Sanchez is unfamiliar with the Chiefs history with the chop.

“The Chiefs were criticized last season by American Indians who found the arm-swinging movement offensive,” she wrote in a September 1992 column headlined, Out with the chop

“The chop is getting the ax,”  Sanchez wrote, adding that the Chiefs would no longer provide the “war chant beat” fans used to chop to.

Yet by early October, the Chiefs flip-flopped and brought the chop back via a full page ad in Kansas City Star explaining the team’s rationale:

” In the open letter, Chiefs officials said, ‘No one meant any disrespect when doing the chop. And, if no offense is intended, why then must offense be taken?'” Seminole indian chief Michael Haney told the Star. 


H. Roe Bartle

H. Roe Bartle

 filed a complaint against the Chiefs with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights at the time.

“They are not going to get away with it,” Haney added. “Tomorrow, we will be at the United Nations and point out that they have to look no further than the Kansas City Chiefs’ move this weekend to reflect the attitude we have faced for 500 years.”

Back to the “drunken fools with painted faces and ersatz Plains Indian war bonnets, whooping sounds they believe to be native” Sanchez says today’s Chiefs now discourage…

She must have missed the team’s “Game Day Activities,” for the Colts home game last December which were  reported in advance by the Chiefs on kcchiefs.com:

Monte Short, also known as Arrowman, will lead the sea of red in the war chant in as the honorary drum leader.”

There you have it, totally busted!

Arrowman has paraded around Chiefs home games for years in his ersatz indian getup festooned with indian themed arrows. And he was hand picked by the Chiefs to lead the war chant and egg on the rest of the heathens and lead the crowd n doing tomahawk chop while the Chiefs provided the silly war chant.

arrowman on kcc.comSo yeah, don’t blame the Chiefs, they only choreographed the whole deal and incorporated it into they pre game festivities…right down to the “whooping sounds” the drunks believe to be native.

Raising the question, has Sanchez ever even been to a Chiefs game?

Or perhaps bothered to Google “war chant” or tomahawk chop or taken a gander at the Chiefs website? Guess not.

And what’s the point of re-reporting that the Chiefs name was reportedly based on former KC Mayor H. Roe Bartle?

Because from Day One the team employed cartoon indians in its marketing and on the cover of the team’s early programs. Combined with a fake indian mascot riding a horse named Warpaint and cheerleaders pounding on a giant, faux indian tom-tom.

If the Chiefs truly wanted to honor Roe Bartle, they’d have hired a super fat white guy in a baggy suit and hat and stationed him down on the sidelines pounding away on a desk.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 11.50.15 PMSo let’s dispense with the pretense that the Chiefs are honoring Native American culture by steering clear of “hokey mascots” and “Indian themed paraphernalia.” Because the fact of the matter is that Sanchez’ hometown team continues to flip-flop and talk out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to honoring Native Americans.

And while that’s a far cry from the use of the word “Redskins,” it also flies in the face of Sanchez assertion about the team making a “decision to stop offending the dignity of those native people.”

Let’s not be in such a rush to point fingers and pat ourselves on the back for being so politically correct.

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31 Responses to Hearne: Star Columnist Stubs Toe on Chiefs-Redskins Comparison

  1. chuck says:

    Yeah, that name has gotta go.

    How about this?


    Damsels in distress get free beer through the first half.

  2. Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

    Gotta love this PC world. Dress like an Indian. Offensive. Dress like a Cowboy. Fine. When is P.E.T.A. going to get into the act an file suit against the Lions, Eagles and Dolphins? Perhaps ancestors of Leif Erikson should file suit against the Vikings. I’m more offended by a $9.75 beer at the stadium than whatever mascot is on the uniform. But hey, that’s me. I guess other folks have a lot more free time to worry about these things than I do. Change a mascot, change the world. Yawn.

    • Libertarian says:

      Exactly. Sue everybody!

      • Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

        Up next? The Boy Scouts of American. Little bastards running around in full head dress and war paint, earning merit badges for Indian activities and belonging to special tribes like Mic-O-Say? Outrageous!!! It must stop!

        • Orphan of the Road says:

          BSA until 1974 permitted, even encouraged local troops to exclude American Indians, Blacks and Mexicans.

          Their mishmash of tribes and customs creates an illusion of honoring the tribes.

          When the myth becomes legend, print the legend.

    • david says:

      If you’re not an American Indian or part of the NFL/Washington Redskins management, you really don’t have a dog in this fight.

      Do you throw out Redskins, the N-word or the many other offensive descriptors when you interact with other people? If not, are you part of the ‘PC world’ you dislike?

      • Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

        Way to miss the point, Davey! By the way, I said you have to “LOVE” this PC world. Stop misquoting me, please.

  3. mark smith says:

    Given the fact that Native Americans have a higher than average infant mortality rate, Alcoholism and drug addiction, unemployment, shorter lifespan, high school drop out rates ,higher suicide rates, it makes perfect sense to focus instead on team mascots they deem offensive. Seems they have taken a page from other “offended minority groups” Ignore the real problems and focus on bull$hit …. I’d rather smash my balls between dinner plates than read a Sanchez column, so Ill just assume she has penned multiple pieces on the issues that are actually adversely affecting Native Americans. No?

    • Libertarian says:

      I’m drawn to Sanchez columns like a moth to a fire.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Another TOTAL AGREE with the Smithmiester. What we did to the Native American makes slavery look like a traffic ticket misdemeanor and that was horrible!
      The one, possible upside is blacks ended up with a better opportunity if they wanted it. We pushed the Indian into tiny pockets no one would want to live in then s$it on them more. And NO, I’m not approving of slavery or what we did to blacks so don’t go down that path, people.
      Nice job, Mark.

      • the dude says:

        And stole children from their families to be indoctrinated in white man boarding schools. That was classy US, real classy.

    • admin says:

      To answer your question, I’m not sure, Mark…

      However, your imagery of smashing your balls between dinner places is, uh, priceless

  4. Orphan of the Road says:

    Sambo’s celebrated America’s love for the Negro. No?

    Vikings never had horns on their battle helmets.

    The only group with lower approval rate in the 1870s than cowboys were American solders.

    As a Philadelphia Eagles fan I enjoy any turmoil that visits the Washington Indigenous Swamp Dwellers.

    Any attempt by these folks to say these names and effigies are tribute are nuts. Zema Williams dresses up in a Monkey Wards Halloween costume at DC games. Unfortunately he took his schtick to the 700-level of the Vet and was plucked.

    Wonder how Zema would react to a white man in black face?

    That the US government and Big Oil have confirmed they underpaid the Nations $6-billion (with no talk of remitting the theft), the government illegally took their land ignoring a Supreme Court decision and most people would not know what constitutes life in any of the Nations, past or present, is what matters. The derogatory depictions are are bigotry at it’s finest.

    But this is ‘Merica, where symptoms are designated as the root cause and identifying problems is considered solving them.

    As an Indian comic said back in the 90s, Sure glad Columbus wasn’t looking for Turkey.

    • the dude says:

      If the Redskins moniker sticks I say we change the name of the Deeetroit Lions to the Deeetroit Blackies. I mean, it’s just a name, right???

      • Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

        The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame? I am so offended. Irish fighting? Stereotype!

        • the dude says:

          I think you mean the drunk Irish, I would take a little offense to that.

          • Orphan of the Road says:

            University of Pennsylvania is the fighting Quakers.

            The Fighting Irish have a true origination rather than some mythical image.

            That’s thanks to Republicans who did not want to serve their country.

    • mark smith says:

      Sambo’s restaurant chain didn’t disparage African Americans, Orphan. I distinctly recall the pictures above the counter at the Sambo’s on bannister. They were of an Indian kid and a tiger. ( An India Indian and not a Casino err I mean american Indian). So maybe they were disparaging Indians, or tigers, or fine dining, or age old childrens stories. I agree that the intent of the teams name is not to honor a particular group. That said, I also don’t believe it’s meant to disparage. Plymouth didn’t name the Barracuda to honor the fish, but to promote an image of the car. Same thing applies with team mascots. Only a moron would try to promote a team by giving it a disparaging name. If that was the intent, we’d be talking about the Washington a$$ holes or, the Kansas City harleys.

      • admin says:

        Dang, Mark Smith is on fire today!

      • Orphan of the Road says:

        The book in the library in grade school circa ’55 had a black boy. I’ve also seen the olive-skinned, sub-continent version in books. And I always wondered as a wee lad how a tiger got to Africa.

        Sambo is still an icon in Japan. Slowly fading though.

        I consider it an honor to have a new orifice ripped by Mr. Smith.

  5. CFPCowboy says:

    Names are in the eye of the beholder. If you are a member of one of the weaker tribes, of course you fear the tribes that counted coo on your ancestors, so your perception of a “redskin” may be the ferocious Ogallala or fierce Cheyenne dog soldier instead of the croupier accepting bets at a local reservation. I get my hair cut by a fierce Cherokee, who unlike the illustrious Senator from Massachusetts actually has proof of her heritage, and I fear no evil. I married her. Much of the bad connotation associated with words is not really the words but the perceptions of what they stand for. Almost everyone knows a blooded American Indian, though few of us know it, so any bad perception is coming from sources other than first hand knowledge. OK, I’m biased, but having researched some of the history, I think, in today’s climate, “redskin” may actually be a compliment.

    • admin says:

      For the record, this whole war chant and tomahawk chop thing began in the early-mid 1980s with the Florida State Seminoles.

      Back in the early 1990s when this indian mascot controversy stuff first blew up, The NCAA was dogging Florida State but the school got a pass from the Seminoles and were allowed to keep everything intact.

      By the way, the Star’s Sam Mellinger kind of whiffed a bit on his column today by not pointing out that the native american protest movement against the Chiefs really started in earnest in the early 90s.

      Including at Redskins-Chiefs game.

      Subtle as it may seem, he did kind of kick Sanchez in the groin by correcting her contention that the Chiefs have cleaned up their acts and noting that they did play the war chant music to encourage the tomahawk chop and not just tolerate but welcome the “drunken fools” who wear the “ersatz Plains Indian war bonnets” they “believe to be native.”

      That is a direct contradiction of Sanchez’ contention that the Chiefs do not “discourage” those activities.

  6. harley says:

    gotta agree with the oollddd seniors here on kcc.
    the mascot names really mean nothing..and had they trademarked the
    names back in the 1800’s they’d be getting royalties.
    redskins…chiefs….Seminoles….wizards…..49 ers….vikiings….blue devils….
    tar heels (whatever that means)…..bulls….war eagles (who use that dance
    and the spear)…raiders….blue hens (the hens are probably pissed off too)..
    jayhawks (that mascot is a disgrace to the governor and his cronies who
    wiped out the states economic future)…..but really is this all we’ve got to
    think about and fight about.
    Everything has to be p.c. or someone wants a buck.
    and its all about money. The nfl would probably have to throw away
    200,000 jerseys/redo their day game books/repaint the helmets and d.c.
    stadium….and that costs money and with each team now worth 2 billion
    bucks…how could the nfl ever afford to spend that kind of money on this
    entire b.s. deal.
    cut the crap….lets play football….maybe change the logo a bit…and lets
    all understand its a mascot for fun and enjoyment.
    for me…when I see that Jayhawk mascot I want to puke. Who came up with
    that? the worst mascot ever. It makes the team look likea bunch
    of cartoon idiots. But the ku faithful like it…it’s not politically correct to the
    animal it insults…but wtf….have we anything better to do?
    mary sanchez…stick that chalupa where the sun don’t shine. Please.\


  7. Stomper says:

    Hearne, nice pic of the old B.C.Christopher drum (world’s largest tom tom) at the old stadium on Brooklyn.

  8. chuck says:

    Dan Snyder owns the Redskins and has pretty much said, if you don’t like the name, don’t watch the game. It is a privately owned business. The players can refuse to play, the customers can refuse to go, the folks in front of the TV can refuse to watch, teh advertisers can refuse to buy time, the 10% of Native Americans polled who don’t like the game have made thier feelings known. The other 90% were not interested or didn’t find an insult in a bouquet of roses.

    Or, we can all self flagellate ourselves bloody and claim that as individuals, we are all more outraged than the guy next to us as measured in DB level.

    The bad pronoun references during PC debates where everyone is trying be more comme il faut than their neighbor are rampant. Who the fu*k is this “WE”?

    My ancestors are all Norwegian, were fisherman then farmers in Iowa until 70 years ago. “WE” didn’t do sh*t to any minorities period. If you need to jump off a cliff or in front of a train to expunge some long ago familial guilt, have a fu*kin ball, me, I like mascots and the general bonhomie good times that sports is supposed to provide.

    And, like I said, if you don’t like it, you can stop watching it, or, just whine.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      I remember the Vikings sailing into ports singing Kumbaya. And those Ole and Lena jokes. Oy Vey!

      I remember back as a kid on US 65 headed to Springfield there was an amusement park, Slave Land.

      It is indeed a tempest in a teapot when you consider the real travesties this topic pushes to the side.

      Listening to the Yancys gab about it is entertaining though.

  9. harley says:

    when its all said and all the names of the discriminatory nature will be changed.
    its easier ….why fight it.
    kc cooks
    Washington crooks
    florida state pelicans
    new Orleans bros
    okland babes
    tampa bay water babes…
    the teams lose…change the namesand lets move on….

  10. Les Weatherford says:

    Good points, Hearne. Right now 610 radio is running a promo for its training camp coverage. Playing in the background is that stereotypical Indian battle music.

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