KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off their first preseason game Thursday. It came as some questioned the culture surrounding the team’s name.
Some local American Indians hope the Chiefs work to have a relationship with local American Indians.
Many fans don't know why the team is named the Chiefs.
As the story goes, the Kansas City Chiefs were named after former Mayor Harold Bartle who was referred to as a chief, but the images of our home town team are not part Bartle's legacy.
“People are utilizing our image. What are we getting from it? Where’s the education of our people?” Moses Brings Plenty, an American Indian and a leader at the KC Indian Center, asks.
He said while he doesn’t speak for all American Indians, he believes the beginning of football season brings out a certain level of cultural ignorance about his people.
"A headdress to our people is a great honor. When someone wears a headdress just out of fun or in spite, it’s a lack of understanding or it’s a lack of education,” Plenty said.
And the name chief is also important in American Indian culture.
"A leader in our culture, in our tradition, is someone who is a servant to the people, and so not just anyone can be a chief amongst our people," he said.
Sports teams with what many consider culturally insensitive mascots, such as the Redskins, have been working to form relationships with American Indians in their communities.
Those in Kansas City said it’s now our turn.
"I know people don't know what they're doing. They want to show their team spirit; I get that. But let's have a little bout of understanding. Let’s have some education that comes with it so we can show our team spirit from a more respectful place.
The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t commenting at this time.