Game 1 of the World Series contest between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros concluded with an Astros loss Tuesday night (October 26), but fans in Minute Maid Park still made their voices heard. Fans in the crowd fashioned signs towards the visiting Braves stating that the so-called “Tomahawk Chop” celebratory gesture is racist and should be done away with.
While the gesture has long been criticized by members of the indigenous nations and beyond, the “Tomahawk Chop” still persists as a part of the Atlanta Braves fan celebration scheme. As leaders of the nations and others have long asked sports teams to do away with racist names and imagery, there has been resistance and even culpability coming from the top of some of these organizations.
Rob Manfred has defended the Braves organization in so many words, taking steps to mention that the team has done work within the indigenous community and says that they support the use of the gesture.
“It’s important to understand that we have 30 markets around the country,” Manfred said at a media event ahead of Game 1. “They’re not all the same. The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community. The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop. For me, that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, taking into account the Native American community, it works.”
While the team has remained steadfast in saying they don’t intend to change the name, groups such as The National Council of American Indians have asked them to do so but are meeting longstanding resistance to change.
The first game of the World Series is tonight and as a Ponca, Pawnee and Kiowa, I’m here to remind everyone that the Atlanta Braves tomahawk chop and especially that damn chanting is racist. #WorldSeries
— Brett Chapman (@brettachapman) October 26, 2021
— Tr Dbln (@taradublinrocks) October 27, 2021
— IllumiNative (@_IllumiNatives) October 26, 2021
What do you call it then when thousands of fans use an overtly racist gesture? What do you call blackface? What’s enough for you to see it? What if fans did the war whoop? There is nothing okay about the #tomahawkchop.
— Christopher D. Cook (@chrsdcook) October 27, 2021
Who you cheering for in the #WorldSeries 2021?
The cheating @astros team?
— BigJ ‘Fully Vaccinated’ McC (@BigJMcC) October 27, 2021
@Braves fans at game 3 should wear their @Braves #WhiteHoodie, so they can do the #TomahawkChop with their hoods up. From section #126 at @TruistPark, behind the @Astros dugout, they could point the direction to #StoneMountain.https://t.co/hMPwU2PO8m pic.twitter.com/nXZ2DeCP6E
— Beyond Green Productions (@BradGGallant) October 27, 2021
Another article with the offending team saying the people this affects are really OK with it, but without the voices of the people actually affected. Talk…to…the…Nations. Not the team. #WorldSeries #AtlantaBraves #tomahawkchop
— James Young (@shamukemo) October 27, 2021
The tomahawk chop is incredibly racist and the fact that it is being given a platform like the World Series is incredibly disheartening.
But the team name and iconography are racist too, and that shouldn’t be forgotten.
— Sheryl Ring, “Culture Activist” (@Ring_Sheryl) October 25, 2021