facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

As the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros, one Native American organization is voicing its concern about the offensive “Tomahawk Chop” gesture fans in Truist Park use during the Braves home games.

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

Ahead of the first World Series game tonight, I wanted to share a statement urging the Atlanta Braves to change their name from Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and executive director of IllumiNative - a Native-led nonprofit dedicated to increasing the visibility of Native peoples and challenging and changing the narrative about Native peoples. 

“Tonight, millions of people around the world will be tuning in to watch the MLB World Series and will see the Atlanta Braves and their fans continue to use racist imagery, chants, and logos that depict Native Americans in a dehumanizing and objectifying manner. For decades, Native communities have urged professional sports teams to stop using us as mascots, to stop reducing us to caricatures, and yet the Atlanta Braves have continued to turn a blind eye to our calls for justice and equity. 

All season, we watched Braves fans use the “Tomahawk Chop'' and chant racist remarks. This is unacceptable; these actions by the fans, encouraged by the team and its leadership, perpetuate the dehumanization of Native Americans and reinforce stereotyping and prejudice among non-Native people. The Braves organization has caused harm and created an unwelcoming environment for Native peoples.

Our history and customs are not yours to be used. Misrepresentations of Native Americans have real and harmful consequences to Native communities. It is beyond impermissible that these chants and logos still exist today. 

We know that change is possible, we’ve seen it already in MLB with the Cleveland Guardians and in the NFL with the Washington Football Team. There is no excuse for lack of action. The Atlanta Braves have an obligation to their team, their fans, and the Native community to end their harmful actions. 

It’s past time for Major League Baseball, and the rest of the sports world, to get rid of offensive Native imagery, logos, and names once and for all. We call on MLB and the Atlanta Braves leadership to put an end to these racist names and traditions immediately.”

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (December 10, 2023): D.C. Briefs
December 10th is the 75th Human Rights Day
Vice President Harris Addresses Indian Boarding Schools at the White House Tribal Nations Summit
Native News Online Reporter Selected for Oxford Climate Reporting Fellowship
'This has Been a Train Wreck for a Long Time' | Fentanyl Trafficking, Underfunded Tribal Enforcement Subject of Senate Committee Hearing

Together, we can educate, enlighten, and empower.

November is celebrated as “Native American Heritage Month.” At Native News Online, we amplify Native voices and share our relatives’ unique perspectives every day of the year. We believe every month should celebrate Native American heritage. 
If you appreciate our commitment to Native voices and our mission to tell stories that connect us to our roots and inspire understanding and respect, we hope you will consider making a donation this month to support our work. For those who commit to a recurring donation of $12 per month or more, or make a one-time donation of $150 or greater, we're excited to offer you a copy of our upcoming Indian Boarding School publication and access to our quarterly Founder’s Circle meetings and newsletter.  
About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].