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Chiefs Fans, Used to Chops and Cheers, React to N.F.L.’s New Climate


“If the chop’s gone, I’m gone,” said Brennan Masterson, 20, outside of the stadium.

“How is it OK for the past how many years, but now that it’s 2020 it’s apparently offensive,” his friend, Hannah Bennett, 19, said.

“Because now only Black lives matter?” Bennett’s mother, Stacy Madrigal, 38, chimed in. “All lives matter.”

As a person of Mexican descent, Carlos Blanco said he understood the need to move away from Native American imagery at games.

“It’s a tradition, but if people are feeling offended about it, then that’s something we could change since everything has popped up with all the racism there is in the world,” said Blanco, who bought a ticket at the 40-yard line on the secondary market for $250.

The national discussion over racial injustice that has touched almost every part of society, including the sports world, was a part of Thursday night’s game as the Texans stayed in the locker room during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Players from both teams linked arms on the field in a moment of silence for racial justice and a smattering of boos could be heard from the crowd.

Even though this was not exactly the celebration that Chiefs fans envisioned to start their title defense after winning the Super Bowl in February, some saw upside to the new normal. Travis Comeau, 41, appreciated that it was easier to find parking at the stadium — though he and his wife were disappointed that their plan to buy season tickets this season fell through because of the coronavirus restrictions.

Blanco said the emptier stadium would be less of a hassle.

“I’ve been in a lot of stadiums and there are always too many drunk people,” he said.

Apsny News

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