“Where are the Kansas City Chiefs from?” This question pops into heads of new fans and folks wondering to get the lowdown on one of the famous teams in American football. The Kansas City Chiefs, from Kansas City, Missouri, have made a big name that goes beyond their city and the world of football. But to really get why it matters where they’re from, we need to dive deeper into their past, their community, and how they’ve made a lasting impact on the NFL. This takes us beyond just where they’re at and into a story full of culture, toughness, and crazy team spirit that shows what the Kansas City Chiefs are all about.
Where are the Kansas City Chiefs from?
The Kansas City Chiefs are a pro football team in Kansas City, Missouri, despite the name making you think they are from Kansas. They’re a part of the National Football League (NFL). The team kicked off in 1960 as the Dallas Texans by businessman Lamar Hunt and moved to Kansas City in 1963, where they got their new name, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Origin of the Kansas City Chiefs Name
The Kansas City Chiefs started in 1960 as the Dallas Texans, one of the first teams of Lamar Hunt’s American Football League. In 1963, after the Texans didn’t draw in enough fans in Dallas, Hunt decided to move the team to Kansas City, Missouri. With the move, they needed a new name, and the Chiefs were born. The name was picked by long-time Chiefs big shot Jack Steadman to honor H. Roe Bartle, the then-mayor of Kansas City, who played a big part in bringing the team to the city. Bartle, nicknamed “Chief,” was a big deal in the Boy Scouts of America and didn’t have ties to American Indian culture.
Early Promotional Activities and Racially Insensitive Depictions
Even though the Kansas City Chiefs’ name didn’t come from a Native American source, a lot of the team’s early promo stuff used images and messages showing American Indians offensively. This use of American Indian culture in sports has been a hot topic for years, and the Chiefs got some flak for how they did things back then.
The Chiefs Organization Takes Action
In 2014, Chiefs bosses started talking with the American Indian Community Working Group, a team of leaders from different American Indian communities in Kansas City and nearby areas. The club’s bosses asked the Working Group to educate them on the important issues facing Indian Country, to check how they do things, and to suggest ways the club could do a better job honoring American Indian culture.
Game-Day Presentation Changes
The Kansas City Chiefs made some changes to the game-day show at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in response to chats with the American Indian Community Working Group. These changes include continuing to honor tribes with a history in the region by celebrating American Indian Heritage Month games, holding a special ceremony for the Drum and the Four Directions, regularly featuring American Indian reps as part of game-day stuff, and outright banning headdresses and face paint at the stadium on game day. These changes show the Chiefs’ dedication to honoring and respecting American Indian culture.
Along with changes in the game-day show, the Chiefs organization retired Warpaint as a face of the Chiefs brand and as part of the game-day fun at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Warpaint was a live horse that ran around the field after every Chiefs touchdown. The decision to retire Warpaint was made after talks with the American Indian Community Working Group, who said that using the horse was stealing culture.
Discussions around the Name
Some of the first chats with the Working Group were about the name of the franchise. Even though the name “Chiefs” didn’t start as a nod to American Indians, the team linked a big part of its promo stuff and images to American Indian culture. And in several cases, especially in the early years of the team, these actions played on harmful stereotypes.
To wrap up, the Kansas City Chiefs are a famous team in American football, from Kansas City, Missouri. Their story of culture, toughness, and crazy team spirit shows why understanding where the Kansas City Chiefs are from is important. While early promo activities were offensive, the Chiefs organization has done stuff to honor American Indian culture. To learn more about the Chiefs and back us up, visit ChiefsFam store.