Kansas City football team should change its name

At the end of the “Mascot protests continue” article, a Vikings fan posed a question. I would like to answer it. In reference to demonstrators protesting the blatantly racist Kansas City football team’s name, he asked, “Are they looking for reasons to complain right now?”
 
No. They are looking for the dignity and respect that privileged white people tend to take for granted. Racism in sports should have been addressed at the time the team was named. It wasn’t, and this highlights the pitfalls of unchecked privilege.
 
The Kansas City football team was named in 1963. For us white folks, this might have been a time when one felt comfortable discussing the 
merits of a name, but for people of color, this was a time when violence and hatred were literally products of our states’ governments. 
 
The equally tragic story that isn’t told in your average history class is the experience of American Indians in the 1960s. In 1956, the Indian Relocation Act came into law. This law was a continuation of our nation’s racist and violent practices, which deemed American Indian culture barbaric and intolerable. Between 1953 and 1964, the time when
the Kansas City football team was named, the federal government terminated recognition of more than 100 tribes’ sovereignty. 
 
For hundreds of years, white settlers had forcefully removed native children from their homes to attend boarding schools, which subjected their “students” to violence and shaming in an attempt to “assimilate” and “civilize” American Indians. In the 1960s, the population of American Indians forced to attend these schools doubled.
 
At the same time, the white, privileged occupants of this land were continuing to use team names like the “Chiefs,” the “Redskins” and the “Braves.” To continue using these names in our entertainment is a tragic show of complacency. For those of us who are comfortable and well-off enough to attend NFL games, follow our Fantasy Football teams and postulate which billion-dollar team might best play the violent game, it is pure apathy to sit back and accept these racist names.
 
What does it do to a people’s identity? The Vikings fan’s assertion — that if Native Americans had a problem with the name, they should have spoken up when it was created — is simply not based in reality.
 
Abolish racism. It’s barbaric, savage and uncivilized.