Braves suggest they will ‘evaluate’ tomahawk chop after season
The Atlanta Braves are well known for their “tomahawk chop,” in which fans are given foam tomahawks or use their arms and sing along to a distinctive warchant. That practice has also been criticized by people who feel it is disrespectful to Native Americans.
The latest criticism came from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley, whose mother is full-blooded Cherokee. Helsley said that the tomahawk chop “devalues” both Cherokee and Native American history.
Cards' Ryan Helsley, whose mother is full-blooded Cherokee, on the Braves' Tomahawk Chop: “It kind of devalues our Cherokee heritage and the Native-American history. Us as Cherokee native people went through a lot in this country."
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) October 4, 2019
The Braves responded to Helsley’s quote by stating that they would “continue to evaluate” the in-game experience and engage in “continued dialogue” with the Native American community.
The #Braves just issued a statement that reads, in part: "We will continue to evaluate how we activate elements of our brand, as well as the in-game experience, and look forward to a continued dialogue with those in the Native American community once the season comes to an end." https://t.co/FtwszkaLW3
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) October 5, 2019
The statement doesn’t really hint at changes, and they’re unlikely to make any major ones unless the league intervenes. That was what it took for the Indians to eliminate their Chief Wahoo logo. The Braves have been associated with the tomahawk chop for nearly three decades, and unless MLB has something to say about it, it’s not likely to end anytime soon.