The Tomahawk Chop Controversy
For years, Chiefs fans have faithfully performed the “Tomahawk chop” gesture during games, which has become a beloved tradition associated with the team. However, this gesture has drawn criticism from activist groups, including Not In Our Honor led by Rhonda LeValdo, who gathered outside Arrowhead Stadium to protest the tomahawk chop during a recent game.
A Native American group, Not In Our Honor, is calling on Taylor Swift to support their efforts in ending the “Tomahawk chop” tradition embraced by Kansas City Chiefs fans. The group considers the hand gesture to be a racist act, and they hope Swift, who is now connected to the Chiefs through her rumored relationship with Travis Kelce, will use her influence to further the conversation on the topic’s sensitivity.
Not In Our Honor is appealing to Taylor Swift, who now has a close relationship with the Chiefs due to her rumored romance with Travis Kelce. LeValdo states, “We remain hopeful that an outside influence like Ms. Swift could be an ally for us in moving the conversation forward on why the chop is a racist act.”
The Request to Taylor Swift
LeValdo, along with other Native American activists and advocates, is urging Taylor Swift to understand their perspective on the harm caused by the tomahawk chop. According to LeValdo, the hand gesture symbolizes synchronized racism and mocks their Native American heritage.
Taylor Swift’s Actions at the Game
During a recent Chiefs game, Taylor Swift was captured on camera among fans participating in the tomahawk chop. However, Swift herself did not join in, instead opting to dance in place. While her actual stance on the issue remains unknown, Not In Our Honor hopes that Swift shares their concerns and will use her influential position to effect change.
A Larger Conversation on Sports and Cultural Sensitivity
The controversy surrounding the tomahawk chop in Kansas City is just one example of larger discussions happening in the sports world. Both the Washington Football Team (now the Washington Commanders) and the Cleveland Indians (now the Cleveland Guardians) have recently changed their team names following public outcry.
Not In Our Honor believes that Taylor Swift has the power and opportunity to influence change regarding the tomahawk chop and its impact on Native American communities. They encourage Swift and others to educate themselves on the history and significance behind the issue.