Protesters who say Kansas City's mascot and logo are offensive to American Indians gathered outside TCF Bank Stadium ahead of the Vikings-Chiefs football game Sunday morning.
“Sports is an incredible unifier if it is used correctly and wisely. But in this situation it’s unacceptable that the state of Minnesota accommodates this football team that is coming on Sunday,” LeMoine LaPointe, of the American Indian Movement Interpretive Center, said at a news conference Friday, according to WCCO.
Minneapolis-based National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media (NCARSM) organized the "No Honor in Racism Rally," with the group saying stereotypes like the Kansas City Chiefs mascot "damage not only the children and adult members of the targeted class – it provokes more acts of discrimination and instills a sense of entitlement to the perpetrators."
"Mascots harm how we, as native people, are perceived. All sports mascots manufactured by non-indigenous people are discriminatory, harmful, completely unnecessary, and easily remedied," the group says.
The group met outside of Northrop Auditorium around 8:45 a.m. Sunday and planned to march to TCF Bank Stadium ahead of the noon kickoff for the Minnesota-Kansas City game.
Last year, more than 3,000 protesters showed up for a similar rally held before the Vikings-Redskins game at TCF Bank Stadium. But unlike that rally, protesters Sunday focused not on the team's name, but the organization and its fans' behavior, the Pioneer Press reports, citing chief headdresses, chants and fans' tomahawk chop as some of the group's concerns.
"They don't do this to any other race of human beings," NCARSM co-founder Clyde Bellecourt said, the paper reports. "We're gonna declare war – declare war – on this kind of insensitivity."
Some tweets from Sunday's rally: