Atlanta Braves keeping name, discussing tomahawk chop

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While Washington owner Dan Snyder goes through the process of considering a name change, one of his baseball brethren is digging in on its name, while considering other steps.

According to Ken Rosenthal of TheAthletic.com, the Atlanta Braves will not change their name, but are discussing the continued use of the “Tomahawk Chop” chant.

“The Atlanta Braves honor, support and value the Native American community. That will never change,” the team said in a statement last weekend, adding that they’ve held meetings with the their Native American Working Group to collaborate with the team on “cultural issues, education and community outreach to amplify their voices and show our fans they are still proudly here.”

The chop became an issue last year during the playoffs, when Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley (a member of the Cherokee tribe) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last October that the chant depicts Native Americans “in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren’t intellectual.”

The Braves then canceled the distribution of 40,000 foam tomahawks before the next game, and didn’t play the music that accompanies the chant.

This offseason, the Braves have met with the National Congress of American Indians, and NCAI CEO Kevin Alis said he’s been encouraged by the conversations.

“NCAI is extremely encouraged by the efforts of athletic teams at the major league, college, and high school level that understand the harm to American Indians and their communities caused by mascots and team names,” Allis said. “Such imagery creates misperceptions and unfair stereotypes of the American Indian, tramples on sacred customs and traditions, and results in American Indians not being viewed as equals in our society. Painful disrespect is often seen when fans don themselves in ceremonial regalia, war paint, and shout made up chants with little or no understanding of the importance and stature of such within the American Indian communities across the country.

“We welcome and applaud the efforts to address this important issue by the Cleveland baseball team, and all other organizations in similar situations.”

The Cleveland Indians have also said they’d discuss the best path forward for their name, though their manager has said he believes it’s time for a change. The Indians had previously stopped using their cartoon “Chief Wahoo” mascot, and the Braves abandoned their “Chief Noc-A-Homa,” mascot in 1985.

Chiefs fans also do the chop at their games, though they have escaped the scrutiny while making their quarterback the highest-paid player in the sport.

13 responses to “Atlanta Braves keeping name, discussing tomahawk chop

  1. the Chop is far worse than Redskins or any name. It clearly mocks Nat Amer culture. But southernsaint is right. Can’t stop fans from doing it. The cancel culture mob is going to lose that one………

  2. This isn’t a new issue. I remember “human rights advocate” Jane Fonda being criticized for doing the chop when she was married to Ted Turner, and that was 30 years ago.

  3. The Braves made the right call one one hand, but caved into politics on the other.

    Fans are going to continue to celebrate their team anyway they see fit, regardless of the woke politics of the current era.

  4. I can see not having a characature like Chief Wahooor Chief Noc-A-Homa.
    I can see not using a deragotory term like Redskins.

    Bust what wrong naming a team after an older group:

    Trojans, Spartans, Vikings, Minutemen, Cowboys, Indians

    Those aren’t derogatory names, they are just names.

  5. Stopping the music wont stop the chant. But it sends the message that the Braves no longer endorse it which hopefully, will keep their advertising partners happy.

  6. I’m a huge Atlanta Braves fan, and the fans won’t stop doing the Chop. It’s the stadium pump up music, and taking that away is taking away home field advantage.

  7. “Bust what wrong naming a team after an older group:

    Trojans, Spartans, Vikings, Minutemen, Cowboys, Indians

    Those aren’t derogatory names, they are just names.”

    ———————-

    Trojans – the army of the city of Troy
    Spartans – the army of the city of Sparta
    Vikings – the warrior settlers from Scandinavia
    Minutemen – American soldiers fighting in the revolution
    Cowboys – people who worked herds of cattle as an occupation
    Indians – the entire racial group of Native Americans

    Do you really not see the difference?

  8. How about the Kansas City Chiefs…they do the tomahawk chop as well. Keep the name and drop the chop!

  9. If you really believe that the fans are going to stop doing the tomahawk chop at Braves games, Indians games, Chiefs games, Seminole games, and the Gator chomp at Gators games, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. It’s funny how the Redskins, for all the heat they’ve been getting, that fan base doesn’t really do any kind of “chop” ritual in the stands.

  10. We have become the most thin skinned country. We have way more time on our hand for each day to come up with more and more that offends us.

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