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Washington Football Team Bans Native American Headdresses and Face Paint at Home Stadium

·2-min read
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team

Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Washington Football Team Stadium

After name changing their name last year, the Washington Football Team is making clear what will — and won't — be allowed in the stands as they welcome back fans to their stadium this fall.

On Wednesday, the team announced it was banning guests from wearing Native American apparel at FedEx Field for the 2021 season, an updated policy that comes just over a year since the franchise changed its name from "Redskins," a term seen as a racial slur against Indigenous people of the United States.

"We are excited to welcome everyone back wearing their Burgundy & Gold," the team said, referencing their longtime colors.

"However," they continued, "Native American inspired ceremonial headdresses or face paint may no longer be worn into the stadium."

The organization also announced a list of other policy changes, including asking fans who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine to wear masks.

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Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team

Washington Football Team/Twitter

"It is expected that each ticket holder agrees to uphold the Ticket Holder Promise when attending any event at FedEx Field," the franchise said. "Additionally, and as part of the Washington Football Team Fan Code of Conduct, the team asks that all fans help to make every FedEx Field experience great for every fan."

"This includes not using foul or offensive language, no fighting or engaging in unruly behavior, not throwing anything inside the stadium, drinking responsibly when drinking, and always following instructions from stadium staff," they continued.

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The move to ban Native American imagery comes just weeks after the Cleveland MLB franchise announced it had changed its name from "Indians" to "Guardians," after it, too, had been criticized for its original moniker.

Cleveland removed their Chief Wahoo logo from game jerseys and caps two years ago after the league said the symbol, which featured a smiling Native American, was not appropriate for field use.

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Last month, the Kansas City Chiefs — winner of the 2020 Super Bowl — announced it would be retiring "Warpaint," a horse that has traditionally been ridden by a Chiefs cheerleader, according to the Kansas City Star.

"We feel like it's time to retire Warpaint," president Mark Donovan said of the change. "A lot of reasons for that, but we feel like it's the right thing to do. Warpaint won't be running at Arrowhead anymore."

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