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SuperBowl Sunday protest against Native mascots

The group, Not in Our Honor, is organizing a protest at the Super Bowl against Native mascots as demeaning.
Photo courtesy of Not in Our Honor
The group, Not in Our Honor, is organizing a protest at the Superbowl against Native mascots as demeaning.

Not everyone will be cheering this Sunday at the the N-F-L championship Super Bowl game in Las Vegas, including two Native American groups.
The Kansas City Football Team and the San Francisco 49ers are headed to the Superbowl in Las Vegas this Sunday.

The greater Kansas City area group, Not in our Honor, has traveled to the games for what members say will be a “peaceful demonstration” outside the stadium.
They’ll be joined by the group Arizona Rally Against Mascots.

Members of the groups are advocating for the Kansas City Team to change its name, and for the end of Native cultural appropriation.

Gaylene Crouser is executive director of the Kansas City Indian Center and a member of Not In Our Honor.

She plans to be in Las Vegas for the demonstration and says that showing up to such a big event is important.

“Stand up and show that there is opposition to the use of our imagery, and likeness and the bastardization of our culture, and all of those things that it’s not okay. And that they don’t have the support of all of Indian Country," Crouser said.

The Kansas City Team has been gaining much attention, all due to the celebrity of Taylor Swift ,who dates one of the players.

Crouser says she thinks Swift could be an advocate for the Native groups.

“Hey, I really, I want to support my boyfriend," Crouser said, "and I really want to do whatever I can, but this particular issue is wrong to have human beings as a mascot, and to utilize the imagery that way, and come out against it. I believe she would have a lot of sway."

Crouser says she's thankful Swift has not taken part in evoking an outdated stereotype of Native people when fans chant and do the "Tomahawk Chop."

And as far as the team changing its name? Crouser thinks it will have to take something drastic to make that happen.

"I think that at this point, it’s going to have to be a financial," she said, "some kind of financial thing that happens to the team because everything else as far as the opportunity has been there for them to do it. They’re all about the rhetoric, but they’re not about any positive action."

Crouser says Not In Our Honor plans to continue to hold demonstrations for as long as it takes.