American Football Database
File:Chief Z.jpg

Chief Zee with fans at FedEx Field on December 4, 2011

Chief Zee, real name Zema Williams, is a well-known fan and unofficial mascot of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. Dressed in a faux American Indian headdress, rimmed glasses, and a red jacket, Chief Zee has been attending Redskins games since 1978.[1] He, and other local sports personalities, are featured in a number of television commercials for Eastern Motors, a Washington, D.C. and Baltimore area car dealership.[2][3][4]


Chief Zee first showed up in costume on September 5, 1978.[5] In 1983, Chief Zee attended a game against the Eagles at Veterans Stadium. While at the game, he was attacked by Eagles fans angry at their team's 10-point loss to the Redskins - the fans broke his leg, tore off his original costume, and left him hospitalized.[6] This outraged Washington fans and created a bitter hatred that persists to this day.

On August 9, 2008, the Chief set down his signature prop, a toy tomahawk, while he was signing autographs at the Redskins' preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. When he turned to retrieve it, it was gone. The 12-inch tomahawk has a slender wooden handle with a rubber blade, and appears in many photos of Williams since he started attending Redskins games over 30 years ago.[7] As of August 28, 2008, Chief Zee's tomahawk has been returned to him with the help of Redskins tight end Chris Cooley who got a call from someone that said they had it. He swapped a signed jersey for the tomahawk.[8]


  • November 7, 1985 was declared "Chief Zee Day" in Washington, DC.
  • In 2000, Visa and the Pro Football Hall of Fame selected the biggest fan of each of the then-31 teams and placed them in an exhibit in Canton. He was the fan chosen for the Washington Redskins.

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