An Astros fan hoisted a sign calling the Atlanta Braves “Tomahawk Chop” “racist” during Game 1 of the World Series as the Houston Astros faced the Braves on Tuesday.
The Braves have faced wide criticism for its name and use of native American imagery. It has taken particular fire for fans’ use of the Chop war cry chant during games at the Braves’ Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia.
But one Houston Astros fan found the chop as a way to shame the Braves:
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) October 27, 2021
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred defended the team’s use of native imagery, saying that the Braves have “done a great job” working with Native Americans in Georgia.
Commissioner Rob Manfred says the Native Americans in the Atlanta Braves’ region are essentially OK with the Braves. Even if that were true, does #MLB have an obligation to be respectful to all Native Americans? Many, after all, think the Braves’ perpetuate racist stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/rMw0srXp0S
— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) October 26, 2021
“The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop,” Manfred told the Washington Post. “For me, that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, we’re taking into account the Native American community. …In Atlanta, they’ve done a great job with the Native Americans. The Native American community is the most important group to decide whether it’s appropriate or not.” He added that local Native groups have also approved of the Chop.
"The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the Chop. For me, that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, we’re taking into account the Native American community.”
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) October 26, 2021
While the team has seriously debated forcing fans to stop doing the chop chant, it has steadfastly refused to consider changing its name.
Explaining why they will keep the team name as it is, the Braves noted in July of last year that “The Atlanta Braves honor, support, and value the Native American community. That will never change.”
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