A USA Today writer says that the term “Atlanta Braves”, referring to the MLB baseball team, is offensive and he will no longer use it. This means that in any columns that he writes, he will simply substitute the term “Braves” for something else such as “Atlanta Baseball Team”. The writer, Bob Nightengale, also says that the “tomahawk chop” celebration that Braves fans often do is also offensive. USA Today released a statement expressing their support for the person. They also said there is no specific policy on using proper team names. This news comes on the heels of other sports teams changing their name such as the Washington Redskins becoming the Washington Football Team.
Although just one writer has announced the change he will make in reference to the Braves’ name, there will most certainly be more who follow. Movements like this often do not happen in a strictly organic fashion. There has been controversy surrounding the Atlanta Braves for years now.
One of the more recent issues with the Atlanta Braves was not something that they have any control over. Major League Baseball was set to host the 2021 All-Star game at Braves Stadium in Atlanta. Georgia politicians changed voting laws to make voting a more secure and fair process. MLB front office types disagreed with Georgia’s decision. Several prominent media types decried the new voting laws in Georgia as “racist and “exclusionary”. As a result of all the negative politics surrounding Georgia at the time, MLB decided to move the game to Denver. Another take is that the voting laws argument was an excuse to simply apply pressure over the name change situation.
A previous iteration of the Braves’ logo featured a depiction of a Native American person. The Braves were forced to remove that part of their logo due to outrage from some Native groups and others. The Cleveland Indians were also forced to remove the “offensive” image from their logo. The next step for Cleveland was to change their name to the Cleveland Guardians, effective 2022. Although the Braves’ front office has not signalled a name change, that won’t stop pressure from being applied on them to do so.
USA Today columnist won’t use Atlanta baseball team’s nickname | TheHill
Atlanta Braves Chop | Why the Tomahawk Chop is offensive | 11alive.com
MLB pulls 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta due to Georgia’s new restrictive voting law
Cleveland Guardians Roller Derby Team Sues Over M.L.B. Team’s Name Change – The New York Times