Kansas City Chiefs starting center Creed Humphrey, a Citizen Potawatomi tribal member, received a warm welcome to his hometown of Shawnee, Oklahoma.

On Feb. 12, 2023, the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in NFL Super Bowl LVII. Humphrey, who helped achieve the no-sack victory, was greeted by raucous cheers March 4 as he walked on stage for a welcome home celebration at Shawnee High School’s Jim Thorpe Stadium, where he started his football career.

Tribal Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett began the event with a blessing, smoking Humphrey off with sweetgrass, cedar, sage and tobacco.

“Those are the elements of the four directions, and they are four of the seven prayers that are traditional in Potawatomi prayer,” Chairman Barrett said.

He followed this with a prayer in both Potawatomi and English.

Shawnee-area representatives also stood to speak.

Shawnee City Commissioner Travis Flood said everyone he talked to who knows Humphrey personally mentions his humbleness and kindness.

“And if there’s anything in this world that is worth being known for, it is the fact that through all of the hard work, all of the trials, all of the tribulations, everything it took for him to get where he is today, he has remained that same amazing, loving, caring, kind human that each and every one of you love,” Flood said.

Avedis Foundation Executive Director Kathy Laster spoke as well and announced that the foundation would present 1,000 day passes to Shawnee Splash Water Park in Humphrey’s name.

Shawnee Mayor Ed Bolt read a proclamation, naming March 4, 2023, as Creed Humphrey Day. Bolt then presented Humphrey with a key to the city of Shawnee.

Shawnee Mayor Ed Bolt, wearing a Shawnee Wolves sweatshirt, hands a framed award to Creed Humphrey at Jim Thorpe Stadium.
Kansas City Chiefs starting center Creed Humphrey (left) accepts a “Creed Humphrey Day” proclamation from Shawnee, Oklahoma, Mayor Ed Bolt.

“It really means the world to me, being able to be someone from Shawnee, being able to set an example for these younger kids around the city. It’s really a blessing. I just want to thank y’all for coming out,” Humphrey said to the crowd before the celebration came to an end.

As Humphrey left the stage, fans gathered for autographs, passing the football player everything from Creed Humphrey jerseys to shoes off their feet to sign.

Afterward, Humphrey met with members of the media for a brief press conference.

“My hometown honoring me like this, it’s truly a blessing,” he told reporters in the high school’s hospitality room. “Something I dreamed about as a little kid is being able to go out there and play, first and foremost, in that stadium in high school. Then playing at (the University of Oklahoma) was obviously a dream of mine, too, and then making it to the NFL, winning the Super Bowl and all this. I mean, it’s a dream come true. It still hasn’t set in, and it’s been over two weeks now. So, it’s awesome.”

Humphrey also filmed a segment on Saturday Night Live with teammate Travis Kelce. Though Humphrey’s skit was one of those ultimately cut before the show aired that night, SNL later posted it on Twitter and YouTube. Watch the clip at cpn.news/CreedHumphreySNL.

“It’s been a wild couple of days,” Humphrey said of the experience. “Travis hit me up two nights ago and asked me to do it, so I flew out there yesterday, flew back last night, and then came here. It’s been awesome. It’s something you didn’t ever think would be possible, getting to be on Saturday Night Live.”

As far as playing in the Super Bowl, Humphrey said he could not let himself think about it too much when he was on the field.

“You have those thoughts leading up to the game. You’re in the Super Bowl, the biggest football game in the world. Things like that. Something you dream of as a kid. But as soon as you step on the field and get ready to play, you block all those things out and just focus on the game,” he said.

Kansas City Chiefs starting Center Creed Humphrey signs autographs for youth at Shawnee High School’s Jim Thorpe Stadium during a recent event honoring the Super Bowl LVII champion.

As for Humphrey’s Potawatomi heritage and the blessing from Chairman Barrett, Humphrey said it was a first for him but an awesome experience.

“There’s not a ton of Native American representation in sports, so just being able to be an example for the younger generation, that’s a big deal for me,” he said.

Humphrey said it was great to be on his home field, where he played Little League through high school football and formed many memories. And Shawnee, he said, means a great deal to him.

“It’s where I’m from. It’s where I was born and raised,” he said. “Just being able to represent my city out there on Sunday nights, it’s huge for me. Just also being able to set an example for the kids in this town, let them know if they work hard and do all that, they’re in a spot where they can make it too.”

Humphrey graduated from Shawnee High School in 2017. He played starting center for the University of Oklahoma before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021.