Officials with the Atlanta Braves sent out a statement to season-ticket holders stating they have no plans to change their nickname but will discuss the use of the tomahawk chop in games.
The statement reads:
“The Atlanta Braves honors, respects and values the Native American community. 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.”
The Braves said the chop is an issue they are working through with their Native American advisory group. The team isn’t ready yet to make a decision on the popular chant and accompanying arm motion, which became a staple of fans at Braves games since the 1990’s.