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Chiefs ban fans from wearing headdresses, Native American face paint

Chiefs ban fans from wearing headdresses, Native American face paint
Kansas City Chiefs fans, wearing headdresses and Native American-themed face paint, cheer on the team during a game against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 19, 2020, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Fans will be prohibited from entering the stadium with that attire this season. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs are prohibiting fans from wearing headdresses and Native American-themed face paint into Arrowhead Stadium.

The team announced the new stadium policies Thursday, saying the changes were made in an effort to help raise awareness of Native American cultures and minimize cultural appropriation.

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The Chiefs also said they would look into making changes to two fan-favorite traditions at their home stadium: the Arrowhead Chop -- similar to the Tomahawk Chop of MLB's Atlanta Braves -- and the pre-game beating of a drum, often done by a local celebrity or a former player or coach.

"In 2014, we began a dialogue with a group of local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds and experiences," the Chiefs said in a statement Thursday. "As an organization, our goal was to gain a better understanding of the issues facing American Indian communities in our region and explore opportunities to both raise awareness of American Indian cultures and celebrate the rich traditions of tribes with a historic connection to the Kansas City area.

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"We are grateful for the meaningful conversations we have had with all of these American Indian leaders. It is important that we continue the dialogue on these significant topics, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future."

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Earlier this week, the Chiefs said they planned to have fans at their home games to begin the season. The franchise announced that it will allow 22% of the capacity of Arrowhead Stadium due to coronavirus-related safety precautions. The stadium has a capacity of about 73,000.

That would mean about 16,000 fans could attend the team's early-season matchups, including the NFL's opener between the Chiefs and the Houston Texans on Sept. 10.

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