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Don’t expect to see the Braves’ iconic tomahawk chop go away anytime soon, says MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, who shut down any notion of its demise on Tuesday.
Speaking with a host of reporters on the field of Minute Maid Park ahead of Game 1 of the World Series between the Braves and Astros, Manfred said that the Native American community in the Atlanta region is in favor of the chop, making it the “end of the story” for him.
“It’s important to understand we have 30 markets around the country,” Manfred said. “They’re not all the same. The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community.”
The chop became an Atlanta phenomenon in 1991, when the Braves became the darlings of the MLB, embarking on a run that led to a World Series title in 1995. Since then, every Braves game has been filled with thousands joining in on the tradition, one that’s under attack today.
As sports trend closer and closer to wokeness, everything is on the table for cancellation. It started with the Washington Redskins, who had their name switched to the Washington Football Team. The Cleveland Indians became the next victim, caving to public pressure and renaming themselves the Cleveland Guardians starting in 2022.
Now, the mob is coming for the Braves and their “racist” chop.
During the summer of 2020, Braves ownership said they were reconsidering the chop, though not the team name. The chop still remains alive today, though plenty of wokesters, including Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke, have tried to have it retired. Plaschke apparently couldn’t bear to be in the city of Atlanta and inside Truist Park during the NLDS because of “the racist chop.”
MLB players union head Tony Clark was asked about the issue as well. Clark said he will entertain any discussion pertaining to social issues, including this one.
“An issue that yields or excites the kind of commentary that you’re seeing in Atlanta is worthy of some dialogue,” Clark said. “I know that there are certain things that as a black man resonate with me, and we’ll assume that there are instances that resonate with others as well. And to the extent that that’s one of them, then it’s worthy of some dialogue.”
Manfred noted that he will not step in himself and force a change, calling it a local issue.
“Each market is different,” Manfred said. “Way before this became an issue, Atlanta cultivated a relationship with the Native American community which was very helpful in terms of making decisions like the two that have been raised.”