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Kansas City Mayor Sly James said that he spoke to Pioli after the incident, and while he refused to discuss the GM’s emotional state, the mayor said Pioli was “extremely concerned that fans of this team are not disappointed and not left in the cold.”

“I think they think there’s an obligation to the people of this city, the fans of the team and the fans of the other team to play the game,” James said.

The season has been a massive disappointment for the Chiefs, who were expected to contend for the AFC West title. They’re just 1-10 and mired in an eight-game losing streak marked by injuries, poor play and fan upheaval, with calls for Pioli and Crennel to be fired.

The Twitter account for a fan group known as “Save Our Chiefs” recently surpassed 80,000 followers, about 17,000 more than the announced crowd at a recent game.

“The Oakland Raiders are empathizing with the Chiefs organization,” the Chiefs‘ AFC West rivals said in a statement. “Our hearts are wounded by such an unimaginable tragedy in our NFL family.”

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Associated Press Writer Heather Hollingsworth contributed to this report.

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