Atlanta Braves Not Changing Name: ‘Chop’ is Up For Consideration
By Carlie A. Horn
The Atlanta Braves sent an email on Sunday to season-ticket holders that they will not be changing their nickname but is looking further into the tomahawk chop.
Paul Lukas is a journalist and runs the Uni Watch blog, he shared the email on twitter. ESPN contacted the Braves and confirmed the email. Lukas received the email from a Braves season-ticket holder.
"The Atlanta Braves honors, respects and values the Native American community," the letter says in part. "As an organization, we have always drawn strength from our diversity and respect for everyone. That will never change."
"We have had an active and supportive relationship with the Native American community for many years. Last fall, we furthered this relationship and pledged to meet and listen to Native American and tribal leaders from many areas, including the Eastern Band of the Cherokees [EBCI] in North Carolina. As a result, we formed a cultural working relationship with the EBCI and have also formed a Native American Working Group with a diverse collection of other tribal leaders to collaborate on matters related to culture, education, outreach, and recognition on an on-going basis."
"Through our conversations, changing the name of the Braves is not under consideration or deemed necessary. We have great respect and reverence for our name and the Native American communities that have held meaningful relationships with us do as well. We will always be the Atlanta Braves."
"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 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."
The Chicago Blackhawks join the Braves in continuing the team name because it honors a Native American leader. The NHL team said in a statement Tuesday, "The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois' Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public."
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