Tailgating will return to FedEx Field in the upcoming NFL season. Unvaccinated people should wear masks, and the stadium will be cashless, the team said in a press release Wednesday. But the biggest change in policies harks back to the Washington Football Team’s old name: “Native American inspired ceremonial headdresses or face paint may no longer be worn into the stadium,” the team says.
Other teams have made similar changes. The Kansas City Chiefs banned headdresses and face paint last year, as did the Chicago Blackhawks. Before it announced it would change its name from the Indians to the Guardians at the end of this season, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team said fans who appeared wearing headdresses and face paint could be thrown out of games.
Fans of Washington’s team long appeared at games in apparel and makeup that reflected the team’s old name.
Dude is literally in red face. He has painted his face red. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/hzdOc2Iol4
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) October 13, 2014
Zema “Chief Zee” Williams, easily the most famous Washington fan to dress up in this manner for games, died in 2016. The National Congress of Native Americans says that 1,870 schools in the US still use Native-inspired mascots and that 42 schools have changed the names of their teams so far this year.