The Atlanta Braves’ signature fan celebration “The Tomahawk Chop” came under fire during Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
An Astros fan in the stands at Minute Maid Park in Houston was seen holding a sign that read, “The ‘Chop’ is racist.” A photo of the sign immediately went viral on Twitter.
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Atlanta has been routinely criticized for its fans doing the tomahawk chop during games as some believe it’s offensive to Native Americans. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred commented on the organization’s use of the “chop” before the start of Game 1.
“The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community,” he said via The Athletic. “It’s important to understand that we have 30 markets around the country. They aren’t all the same. … 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, we’re taking into account the Native American community.”
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Back in July, the Cleveland Indians announced they would be changing their name to the Guardians following the conclusion of the 2021 MLB season. The team had been known as the Indians since 1915.
Cleveland team owner Paul Dolan said the name is no longer acceptable. It will be interesting to see if the Braves follow suit in the near future.
Before the start of the 2020 season, the Braves removed their “Chop On” statue. The team said at the time it would not consider a name change but would consider whether the tomahawk chop would further be permitted at Truist Park. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted during the home opener that fans were encouraged to do the chop.
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“We don’t market our game on a nationwide basis. Ours is an everyday game,” Manfred said. “You’ve gotta sell tickets every single day to the fans in that market. And there are all sorts of differences between the regions in terms of how the teams are marketed.
Astros fans also let Manfred have it before Game 1. He avoided questions about the Astros’ cheating scandal but Houston fans were not going to let him off the hook.
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“You know you scapegoated us, Rob! You know it,” one fan yelled at Manfred, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Atlanta pulled out a Game 1 victory, 6-2.
Fox News’ Dan Canova contributed to this report.