The Atlanta Braves are considering major changes to the fan experience
With the Braves among several professional sports teams under fire for their use of Native American imagery for all the wrong reasons, Atlanta is considering some minor changes to help adjust to increased expectations from sports fans everywhere to be conscious of how their brand could offend others.
Per an email to season ticket holders, the ‘Braves’ team name will remain, but the ‘tomahawk chop‘ which was introduced by Deion Sanders in the early 90’s during his stint in the ATL, could be removed. Such a decision might be looming given the recent decision to take down a ‘chop’ statue outside of the stadium.
The Braves are removing the ‘Chop’ statue behind Truist Park
College football’s Florida State Seminoles and the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs employ the same chant, and the Braves decision — should it prove true — to ban it could start a ripple effect around the sports world. In the aftermath of demands for the NFL’s Washington franchise to eliminate their slur of a nickname for the betterment of societal treatment of Native Americans, slogans across sports and culture have also been revised for the better.
While some Braves fans are attached to the chant given their success in the 90’s, which included a World Series victory in 1995, surely given time any outrage will subsist, especially as Atlanta enters a new era of competitive play around the likes of Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies.
While not changing the name may rub some in the Native American community the wrong way, if Atlanta does this right they can alter the meaning and name association of ‘Braves’ to a pro-military stance of sorts. It’s not perfect, but it’s a middle ground that could just work in today’s polarized sports landscape.