Kansas City Chiefs Fans Get Scolded by NPR
Kansas City Chiefs Fans Get Scolded by NPR
Kansas City has been on an adrenaline high since the Chiefs won the AFC Championship last Sunday. Go anywhere in the metro and you’ll see Chiefs gear everywhere. Next stop: the Super Bowl in Arizona.
But of course there are the party poopers, the Debbie Downers, the Karens, who want to take the city’s pride down a notch or two. You can find them at KCUR, the National Public Radio affiliate in KC.
For those who don’t live here, Kansas City is a huge football town. Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs play, holds the record for loudest crowd roar, at 142.2 decibels. And they’re a patriotic bunch, too, as seen during the National Anthem prior to the championship game.
Retired US Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson offered up a soul-stirring rendition of the anthem. Members of both the Chiefs and the opposing Cincinnati Bengals stood at attention in the 20-degree weather, while Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones had a tear running down his face. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was hopping around, trying to stay warm, but still kept his hand on his heart. And as a finale, T-38 Talons flew over the stadium.
But leave it to a National Public Radio affiliate to find raaaacism during the game. Just as NPR did in 2020, when they dug up a 2014 story about yellow emojis being racist, even though skin tone options became available in 2015.
And just think, as taxpayers we’re paying for this.
On Friday morning, as the victory high in KC was beginning to taper off, the KCUR website published a story with this title:
“As Kansas City Chiefs head to the Super Bowl, their violent traditions alienate even some local fans”
That had me scratching my head. I had watched the entire game, plus the local news coverage afterwards. There were no reports of violence in KC. No cars overturned, no fires set in the streets. What’s more, in 2020, when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, no violence broke out in the city either. Nor did it happen when the Royals won the World Series in 2015.
Oh, but the “violent traditions” are the team’s logo and that awful tomahawk chop that fans at Arrowhead like to perform to cheer on the Chiefs, said KCUR:
“But, as the city at-large celebrates their third Super Bowl appearance in four seasons, many fans feel conflicted. Some feel outright alienated every time they see that arrowhead-shaped logo or the so-called “tomahawk chop.””
“Many fans,” attests KCUR. Just how many? We don’t know because they don’t tell us. But they quote Rhonda DeValdo, an activist and professor from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS:
“Our people were rounded up, kids stolen from their families, sent to boarding schools … and stripped of their culture and identity.”
“Their religion was outlawed, they could not practice their ceremonies, they couldn’t sing their songs. So why is it OK for the fans in Kansas City to play Indian, when our people weren’t allowed to be Indian?”
Here’s Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes doing the chop. Mahomes is biracial, with a black father and a white mother. So where does he fit on her victimhood scale? I also wonder what DeValdo thinks of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tried to play Indian in real life, not just during a football game.
DeValdo also claimed that these actions harm the mental health of Native Americans. To confirm this, KCUR added:
“Scientific research backs her up: The American Psychological Association said in a 2005 report that “a growing body of social science literature shows the harmful effects of racial stereotyping and inaccurate racial portrayals, including the particularly harmful effects of American Indian sports mascots on the social identity development and self-esteem of American Indian young people.”
That’s not quite accurate. The 2005 report KCUR links is not “scientific research;” it’s a one-page summary of a resolution from the American Psychological Association. Moreover, the references from the formal resolution date from 2004 at the latest, and as far back as 1971. Plus, only a handful cite actual research studies; most references are position statements. One of them is entitled, “Four MU students describe Willie Wampum as racist symbol,” and it came from a 1971 newspaper article.
I’m calling a penalty on your “scientific research,” KCUR.
Let’s be honest here: the goal of the NPR Karens is to strip the Kansas City Chiefs of their name. Activists got a win when they pressured Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians to become the “Cleveland Guardians.” They also got the Washington Redskins of the NFL to turn into the “Washington Commanders.”
For a while the Chiefs were ignored. After all, for many years they were an inconsequential team from a mid-sized market in Flyover Country. But now that the Chiefs are becoming a dynasty football force, they’re a target.
So what’s next? Will Notre Dame lose their “Fighting Irish” name and identity? There was a time in the 19th century when Irish immigrants were on the lowest rungs of American society. How about the Minnesota Vikings? Their logo is of a Viking wearing a helmet with horns, which is historically inaccurate. Plus the stereotype for Vikings are purveyors of rape, pillage, and plunder.
Oh, wait. Irish and Scandinavians are white people. Never mind.
Of course we know that Europeans came into America and conquered the indigenous people. There’s no doubt about that. Nor did they treat the native peoples well.
But if you examine the history of Europe over the centuries, you’ll see that the same happened to white people, too. European groups frequently conquered other peoples, and in return they were often conquered themselves. They were also victims of totalitarian governments, religious persecution, and ethnic cleansing. Anyone of European background will usually find the results of such events in an ancestral DNA test.
The conquering and subjugation of innocent people is wrong. But it’s also human nature, or, as Christians would say, it’s our sinful nature. Every ethnic group has been a victim at some time or another, the tragic results of evil. And while the household income among Native Americans is far below that of the United States as a whole, and the poverty rate much higher, a question remains: how does successfully shaming sports teams improve lives?
Tony’s Kansas City, a local blog site, commented on KCUR’s snit:
“The Super Bowl is just a big, dumb beer fest eat-a-thon wherein Americans are encouraged to stop caring about their problems for 5-6 hours. It’s not an event that invites thoughtful commentary.”
“Accordingly, this screed … isn’t really intended to convince reasonable people, instead it’s Debbie Downer commentary weaponized to try and ruin a good time.”
But Generald Wilson, the former Navy Petty Officer, loves the Chiefs and the privilege of singing the National Anthem at games, which he has done for 20 years. He said:
“For that minute and a half, you’re putting away your differences and you’re singing a song together with the person sitting next to you; the person way across the field or the court. And that minute and a half, you’re coming together because you love this country.”
Petty Officer Wilson, a black man, loves America. He certainly has earned the salary that the nation had paid him for the 20 years he spent in service to her. And the National Public Radio affiliate KCUR? Not so much.
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