Braves remove tomahawk chop sculpture from outside ballpark
The Atlanta Braves said recently that they are sticking with their nickname but will evaluate how to handle the “tomahawk chop” going forward, and it appears they may be in the early phases of trying to eliminate the popular hand gesture.
A wooden sculpture that featured a tomahawk and the phrase “Chop On” has been removed from outside Truist Park in Atlanta. Jeff Schultz of The Athletic noticed that the area where the sculpture used to sit near the third base entrance of the stadium is now vacant.
Quasi update on “The Chop”: This wood sculpture outside the Braves’ stadium near the third base entrance has been removed. I asked the Braves about it but they have chosen not to respond to requests for comment. @TheAthleticATL @TheAthleticMLB pic.twitter.com/ZdqKUP91um
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) July 19, 2020
With the Washington Redskins now changing their name and the Cleveland Indians possibly doing the same, some have wondered if the Braves would follow suit. The team said in a statement earlier this month that discussions with Native American communities determined the nickname is not offensive, but the tomahawk chop is being evaluated further.
“As it relates to the fan experience, including the chop, it is one of the many issues that we are working through with the advisory group,” the statement read, via ESPN.com. “The chop was popularized by our fans when Deion Sanders joined our team and it continues to inspire our players on the field. With that in mind, we are continuing to listen to the Native American community, as well as our fans, players, and alumni to ensure we are making an informed decision on this part of our fan experience.”
There have been calls for the Braves to ban the tomahawk chop for quite some time, but it appeared as recently as February that the hand gesture wasn’t going anywhere. However, the Braves opted against giving out foam tomahawks before a playoff game last year because of comments an opposing pitcher made. Perhaps they are going to move toward no longer encouraging the tomahawk chop rather than banning fans from doing it.