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Woke Alert: NYT’s Football-Hating Sportswriter Goes After Kansas City Chiefs

Posted on 23 December 2020

Perhaps disappointed that the National Football League had the audacity to play this year (instead of shutting the season down over coronavirus fears as he’d hoped), New York Times “Sports of the Times” columnist Kurt Streeter found another way to attack the league from the left – the tired old hobbyhorse of allegedly offensive American Indian nicknames. “A Growing Movement Tired of Being Your Mascots” was the latest dose of guilt-ridden consciousness-raising from a sportswriter who would rather talk about anything but sports. Streeter portrayed left-wing activist busybodies as the only minority voices worth listening to (click “expand”): Before the Kansas City Chiefs play, Rhonda LeValdo does not feel excitement and joy. She feels outrage. LeValdo, a Native American activist, has protested outside Chiefs home games since 2005. Kansas City still allows fans at the unfortunately named Arrowhead Stadium. She opposes traditions that have long been staples at Kansas City games. The horse called Warpaint prancing on the sideline. The beating drums. The battle cries filling the air as thousands of fans pantomime tomahawk chops. She wants the team to change its nickname: No more Chiefs. (....) The protests seemed hopeless for years. Then came this spring, after George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis police. Amid the nationwide push to re-examine racial discrimination, a clamor from the public and sponsors forced Washington’s N.F.L. team to abandon its racist name. Last week, Cleveland’s baseball team decided that starting in 2022, it would no longer call itself the Indians. For the first time, LeValdo is feeling optimistic... And was Streeter hinting here of some kind of long-term Stockholm Syndrome is going on with those American Indians who didn’t mind the nicknames? Read and decide for yourself: True, there are Native Americans who say they don’t mind the caricatures and tired tropes. Like any ethnic group, Indigenous people hold a full range of views. Nor should it be surprising that a people so subjugated, brutalized and sidelined -- who suffered through decades of forced assimilation --would include voices that back the status quo. Streeter also pompously relayed supposedly secret knowledge about renowned athlete Jim Thorpe: What do you know about Jim Thorpe? Were you taught his history in school? (....) Did you know that Thorpe handily won the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics? That in the same year, he led the football team at Carlisle, his Native American boarding school, to a 27-6 demolition of a powerhouse Army team at West Point? Were you aware of how he was a pioneer in pro football and played six seasons in major league baseball? For all his greatness, Thorpe ended up being treated the same way Native Americans have for centuries: in too many corners, his legacy is either dimly remembered, recalled simplistically, or forgotten altogether. As for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, Streeter dismissed that team as another one of the "racist tropes" out there and downplayed their attempts at goodwill because they “sought cover in the form of endorsements from Native American groups.” After touting their previous ties with Chicago's American Indian Center, Streeter relished in how they're no longer partners because the woke, young activists told them so. Streeter quoted its education director Fawn Pochel as having boasted that “our youth said they'd had enough” and, along with “reimagining a future that many were taught could not exist,” “[n]ew demands are going to be made.” The problems of Native Americans will surely be solved through these cosmetic name changes. Just like San Francisco solved racism by taking Abraham Lincoln’s name off school buildings that currently stand empty of students because of recalcitrant teachers unions.