The Atlanta Braves announced on Sunday that the team will not change its name, but will review the tomahawk hack, a well-known sports celebration, according to a report.
In an email to the season ticket holders on Sunday, the team said it would not follow the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians when considering a name change. The team informed their fans that the Braves will remain the Braves amid recently renewed questions about how the nickname was offensive to the Native American community.
“The Atlanta Braves honor, respect and value the Indian community. As an organization, we have always drawn strength from our diversity and respect for everyone. It will never change,”
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The Braves said they have had a supportive relationship with the Native American community for many years.
“Last fall, we continued this relationship and promised to meet and listen to Native Americans and tribal leaders from many areas, including the Eastern Band of the Cherokees (EBCI) in North Carolina,” the email continued. “As a result, we formed a cultural working relationship with EBCI and also formed an Native American working group with a diverse collection of other tribal leaders to collaborate on issues related to culture, education, outreach and recognition for an ongoing foundation.”
Because of these conversations, the team said that changing the Braves name “is not considered or considered necessary.”
“We have a lot of respect and reverence for our name and the Native American communities that have had meaningful relationships with us do as well. We will always be the Atlanta Braves,” according to the email.
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The team’s tomahawk chop is under review. The guest was popularized by Deion Sanders when he joined the team in the 1990s after playing for the Florida State Seminoles. The team said the chop “continues to inspire our players on the pitch”, but the management is still watching the gesture.
“As it relates to the fan experience, including the chop, it is one of the many issues we work with the advisory group,” the email said. “With that in mind, we continue to listen to the Native American community, as well as our fans, players and students to ensure that we make an informed decision about this part of our fan experience.”
Both the Redskins and Indians are reportedly considering renaming, with the DC-based NFL team expected to retire for the long nickname on Monday, according to a report by Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal.
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At the same time, on July 3, the Indians tweeted that “they are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward for our team name.”