Rob Manfred defends Braves’ name, use of tomahawk chop: Team has ‘done a great job with Native Americans’

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The Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros are kicking off the 2021 World Collection on Tuesday night time. Main League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is at Minute Maid Park for Sport 1, and, previous to the sport, he defended the Atlanta franchise’s continued use of the “Braves” identify and imagery. Manfred was responding to questions on whether or not the league would stress them to alter identities, the best way different groups with Native American monikers have lately (together with the Cleveland franchise, which can quickly be referred to as the Guardians as a substitute of the Indians).

“The Native American group in that area is wholly supportive of the Braves program, together with the chop,” Manfred mentioned, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. “For me, that is sort of the top of the story. In that market, we’re considering the Native American group. …In Atlanta, they’ve executed an amazing job with the Native People. The Native American group is crucial group to resolve whether or not it is applicable or not.”

The “chop” is the gesture Braves followers make all through video games that mimics using a tomahawk. The gesture has been criticized by Native Americans, together with St. Louis Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsey, who reason that it portrays Native Americans as caricatures. “It sort of devalues our Cherokee heritage and the Native-American historical past,” Helsey said during the 2019 postseason. “Us as Cherokee native folks went by lots on this nation.” (The Braves responded by discouraging followers from doing the chop each time he pitched throughout that sequence.)

This is video of Manfred addressing reporters on the sphere in Houston:

Manfred’s level in regards to the area’s Native People being supportive of the identify and the chop must be scrutinized. As baseball scribe Craig Calcaterra noted in his newsletter, the Braves usually level to the help they’ve from the Jap Band of Cherokee Indians as irrefutable proof that every one Native People are on board with their id. What tends to go unnoted is that the Jap Band is technically a enterprise associate of the Braves, as their on line casino serves as a company sponsor of the staff. (And even the Eastern Band has criticized the franchise’s use of stereotypical “war music.”)

There is no inherent cause why the Braves identify or the chop must be seen as sacrosanct properties. The “Braves” moniker has been used since 1941, however the franchise has additionally passed by names just like the “Bees” and the “Doves.” (Our Dayn Perry opined in January that Atlanta should change its name to the “Hammers” as a tribute to the late Hank Aaron.) The chop, in the meantime, is a comparatively new addition to the franchise’s id, having grown in reputation throughout the 1991 season, per the New York Times | Rob Manfred defends Braves’ identify, use of tomahawk chop: Workforce has ‘executed an amazing job with Native People’


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