MLB Boss: Native American Community ‘Wholly Supportive’ of Braves’ Name and ‘Chop’ Chant
With the Atlanta Braves playing in the World Series this year, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has shrugged off renewed scrutiny about the team’s name and their fans’ “tomahawk chop” gesture and chant. Facing questions on Tuesday night from reporters before the Braves’ game against the Houston Astros, Manfred said he supported the decision not to change the team name. “I think it’s important to understand that we have 30 markets in the country,” he said. “They’re not all the same. The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community. The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop. And for me that’s kind of the end of the story.”
While The Washington Post reported that the league has consulted with local Cherokee elders and said they viewed the designation as a source of pride, the National Council of American Indians has asked for the name and chant to go. Elsewhere, the Washington football team dropped its Redskins name last summer, and the Cleveland Indians will play as the Guardians next year.