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Chiefs have no plans to change nickname but “time to retire” Warpaint horse mascot

Travis Kelce sees the 2021 season for the Chiefs as a failure after coming up short in the Super Bowl. Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss whether Kansas City is in a 'Super-Bowl-or-bust' mode every year.

The Washington Football Team retired its nickname and logo in 2020. The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced they will become the Guardians in 2022.

So where does that leave the Kansas City Chiefs?

Team president Mark Donovan said Monday the Chiefs have no plans to change the nickname, but the franchise is moving away from a popular tradition some Native Americans consider offensive.

“We have a really good American Indian working group that provides us real guidance and feedback — perspective on this issue,” Donovan said, via Charles Goldman of USA Today. “Obviously, we knew about the Cleveland decision a year plus ago, so we knew this was going to happen. [It] doesn’t really change our approach. We’re going to continue to create opportunities to educate, create awareness and work exactly as we have over the past eight years now with the working group. We’ve expanded our working group, to get more voices. As I’ve said before, one of the things you find within the American Indian community, which is not unlike any community, is there are divergent views. You’re going to find someone who believes one thing and someone who believes just as strongly in the other. That’s true within the American Indian community. It’s also true when it comes to these issues.”

In 2020, the team announced a ban on American Indian-style face paint and headdresses at its home games. The Chiefs this season plan to do away with the pregame running of “Warpaint,” an American Indian-themed horse mascot, which was a ritual retired in 1989 but brought back in 2009 for the team’s 50th anniversary.

“So, we made some significant changes last year, which we are proud of, and we believe were the right things to do,” Donovan said. “Over the last probably, year and a half, we’ve looked at some changes. One we’re going to implement this year [is] we feel like it’s time to retire ‘Warpaint.’ There are a lot of reasons for that, but we just feel like it’s the right thing to do. So ‘Warpaint’ won’t be running at Arrowhead anymore.”

Donovan said they have had continued conversations regarding “The Chop” and its use at their games.