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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lily Gladstone blasts KC Chiefs’ name and tomahawk chop; SF 49ers ‘accountable’ too

 Lily Gladstone in the press room at the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024.    (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
By Evan Rosen New York Daily News

Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone is taking aim at the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, criticizing the team’s name and its fans’ use of the tomahawk chop in a series of comments made public since the big game.

The 37-year-old “Killers of the Flower Moon” actress is a Native American whose heritage is that of the Siksikaitsitapi and Niimiipuu tribal groups, which are rooted in the northwestern U.S. and in Alberta, Canada.

Gladstone also had choice words for the Super Bowl runner-up San Francisco 49ers, saying, “Honestly, you could hold both teams accountable.”

“The 49ers are based on the California Gold Rush, which was an incredibly brutal time for California Indians,” she told Variety.

Turning her focus to the Chiefs, Gladstone explained that it’s not just the name that bothers her. She also dislikes the tomahawk chop and chant the team’s fans perform during games.

“Every time, it’s a stark reminder of what Hollywood has done to us, because the tomahawk chop directly ties to the sounds of old westerns where we were not playing ourselves, or if we were, we were merely backdrop actors,” Gladstone said.

“It’s this ‘claiming’ of that sound and saying its an ‘honor’ and the commodification of who we are as people. It’s great to love the game and your players, but it still hurts,” she added.

The Variety story published Thursday was a follow-up to Gladstone’s comments on Super Bowl weekend at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Some of her comments came before the Feb. 11 game at which the Chiefs took home the Lombardi Trophy for the second year in a row.

In a post to X on Thursday, Gladstone doubled down on her criticism of the Chiefs, writing, “I mean, its not *just* the name…but it’s also the name.”

Her comments echoed those of Native American activist Amanda Blackhorse, who spoke out against the Chiefs’ name during the lead up to the 2023 Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix.

She and other indigenous advocates protested outside of State Farm Stadium in Arizona, where the Super Bowl was kicking off, holding signs that read “end cultural appropriation” and called for the team to change their name.

Blackhorse was also a key plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Washington Commanders’ former owner Dan Snyder that was part of the successful movement to get the team to ditch their offensive “Redskins” moniker in 2020.