The local Native American community “fully supports” the Braves


MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he had no issues with the Atlanta Braves ‘continued use of Native American images on their uniforms and their fans’ tomahawk vocals, despite similar concerns being raised. about other teams in the North American sports landscape.

Speaking to the media ahead of World Series Game 1 on Tuesday, Manfred said, “The Native American community in this region fully supports the Braves program, including the chop.

“I think it’s important to understand that we have 30 markets in the country,” he added, according to USA Today. “Not all are the same. The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community. “

Union leader Tony Clark was more critical of the Braves when asked about their use of the symbols on Tuesday, saying any concerns should be properly addressed.

“I know there are certain things that resonate with me as a black man,” Clark said. “And I guess there are cases that resonate with others as well. To the extent that this is one of them, it deserves a dialogue.

Questions about Atlanta and other teams using Native American and Native names and symbols as mascots for sports teams are not new. In the past two years alone, the NFL Washington football team, CFL Edmonton Elks and MLB Cleveland Guardians have rebranded themselves after previously using Native American and Native nicknames and logos. .

Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – the national organization representing Inuit in Canada – spoke out against the former name of the Edmonton football team in 2015. In an interview with Donnovan Bennett of Sportsnet , he explained why he raised his voice.

“It’s the same with any society, any culture. If some people within a society are targeted by the use of a particular term as an ethnic insult and have been deeply hurt and in pain always using that particular word, so why can’t we support these people? ”said Obed.“ The best way to move forward is to recognize that people have been hurt by this and (for all of us) to mobilize to try to do better so that racism is reduced and the human dignity of people is defended and respected. “

The Braves also haven’t shied away from their own scrutiny. In 2019, Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley – a member of the Cherokee Nation – said it was “disappointing” to see Atlanta fans sing a tomahawk as he pitched at them during this year’s NLDS. that year.

“I think this is a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general,” Helsley said at the time. “He just portrays them as these kind of caveman type people who are not intellectual. They are much more than that. I’m not the one offended by this whole mascot thing. It’s not the cases. Americans, and how we are perceived that way, or used as mascots. “

The Braves responded to Helsley’s concerns at the time with their own statement.

“Our organization has sought to embrace all people and showcase the many cultures in the land of the brave,” the statement said. “We will continue to assess how we activate the elements of our brand, as well as the in-game experience, and look forward to an ongoing dialogue with members of the Native American community once the season is over.”

Yet two years later, the same questions arise about the same team.

“I don’t know how all Native American groups across the country feel,” Manfred said Tuesday. “I am 100% certain that the Braves understand what the Native American community in their area believes and have acted on that understanding.”

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