Chiefs, Royals on NRA’s ‘enemies lists’
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs are apparently anti-gun, at least if you believe the NRA, which has put each team on its list of organizations opposed to certain gun policies.
Just how the Royals and Chiefs landed on what has become known as the NRA’s “enemies list,” however, remains somewhat of a mystery.
The NRA has not responded to repeated requests by FOXSportsKansasCity.com for comment.
Meanwhile, spokespersons for both the Royals and the Chiefs have indicated they preferred not to comment regarding their presence on the NRA’s list.
On one of its websites (nraila.org), the NRA states above its anti-gun list: “The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI ‘Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws.’ Many of these organizations were listed as ‘Campaign Partners,’ for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the (James) Brady Act and the (Bill) Clinton ‘assault weapons’ ban. All have officially endorsed anti-gun positions.”
The NRA list includes numerous entertainers and actors, from Kevin Costner to Jack Nicholson to Sean Connery. The list also includes Kansas City greeting-cards giant Hallmark Cards, Kansas City investment banker James B. Nutter, a huge Royals supporter, and the Royals and Chiefs organizations.
But are the Chiefs and Royals really anti-gun?
Coincidentally, both the Royals and the Chiefs have present and past players known to be either avid hunters or, at the very least, recreational hunters.
Royals manager Ned Yost, in fact, is an avid hunter who is featured in a YouTube hunting video called “Trophy Takers.”
Former Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle organized a “turkey hunt for charity” during his time in Kansas City, a popular event that was supported by several other Chiefs players.
Spokespersons for both organizations said there are “at least a few” known hunters in each clubhouse or locker room.
So how did the Chiefs and Royals get in the NRA’s crosshairs?
One theory dates to 2003 when the state of Missouri, after several failed attempts, finally passed a bill that permitted individuals, with proper permits, to carry concealed weapons.
That law, of course, raised concerns in Kansas City about fans bringing guns into Kauffman Stadium or into Arrowhead Stadium, each of which are owned by Jackson County.
The Royals and Chiefs did not take public stands on the issue at the time but there is speculation they may have voiced their concerns to Missouri legislators – that could have been enough to rile the NRA. An amendment to the conceal and carry law eventually was issued that makes it illegal to carry guns, even with a valid permit, into any stadium or arena in Missouri with seating 5,000 or above.
Also, the leagues the Royals and the Chiefs play in — Major League Baseball and the NFL – in recent years have added their own policies concerning weapons.
That issue came up last December when Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, after shooting and killing his girlfriend, drove to the Arrowhead Stadium practice facility and shot himself with a handgun in the parking lot.
In the following days, Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel was asked what his stance was on players owning guns. Crennel said he didn’t have one, other than reminding his players that the NFL’s policy was that guns “are prohibited at a facility owned, operated or being used by an NFL club … including locker rooms, workout sites, and parking areas.”
In 2010, Major League Baseball began posting signs outside its clubhouses that explained the league’s “Weapon-Free Workplace” policy. The signs read: “Players and employees are prohibited from possessing deadly weapons – guns, explosives, daggers, metal knuckles, switchblade knives or knives with blades exceeding five inches – while performing any services for MLB.”
Those policies, too, may have riled the NRA.