I just don’t understand some people’s way of thinking these days.
You’ve likely seen the Atlanta Braves in the news over the last few of days, but I’m not talking about their chase for a World Series title. I’m talking about their name.
Yep. Their name.
Apparently it’s become an issue that Atlanta’s baseball team is called the Braves, and “The Chop” has also become a topic of criticism again.
But, of course, none of this is new territory.
It was July 3, 2020, when the NFL’s Washington Redskins — now simply named, “Football Team” — officially announced it would undergo a thorough review of its team nickname.
Only 10 days later, the team announced it would retire the former name and determine a new one.
On July 23, 2020, Washington ushered in the new era by announcing it would be known as the “Washington Football Team” until a new nickname could be determined.
In recent months, team executives reportedly said they were close to a decision on the new nickname and would reveal it in early 2022, just in time for next season.
Around the same time Washington announced the team would review its use of “Redskins,” the Cleveland Indians baseball team announced they, too, would work to “determine the best path forward” regarding its nickname.
In December 2020, national media reported the Indians would be no more after the 2021 season. Then, this past July, Cleveland announced they would become the Guardians, but even that’s become a sticky situation. Apparently, the city has a men’s roller derby team with the same name — who knew? I guess not the baseball team.
So, why did these teams make a change? It wasn’t just the public outrage, because we’ve heard that before. In fact, the cry for Washington to change its name had started years prior.
But this time was different.
The Washington and Cleveland front offices, including their owners, were starting to feel some pressure from major sponsors, which meant they were at risk of losing millions of dollars in revenue.
Don’t get me wrong. I get it. While it’s often said to be the root of all evil, money is everything in the world of business.
Fortunately, it appears the Braves won’t succumb to the pressure and make a name change anytime soon — though something like the “Atlanta Hammers,” in homage to late Braves legend Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron, has a pretty nice ring to it.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred came out Tuesday in support of Atlanta’s use of the Braves nickname and “The Chop,” mostly because of the team’s outreach efforts to the Native American community.
But if “Braves,” “Redskins” and “Indians” are such terrible nicknames, why isn’t there outcry for the Kansas City Chiefs to change their name or logo? What about the Chicago Blackhawks? The Utah Utes? Where’s the petition to make Florida State University stop using “Seminoles” and their own rendition of “The Chop?” After all, if not for Deion Sanders, the Braves would’ve likely never started doing “The Chop.”
Is it not also offensive for Notre Dame to be called the Fighting Irish?
And while we’re talking about things considered offensive, how is half the music on today’s radio allowed to be played and sold to millions of people each day? And how is half of the programs broadcast on television allowed to even sniff the airwaves?
But the Braves — a nickname used since 1912 that many could argue isn’t derogatory at all — isn’t OK anymore?
Maybe everyone should just take a deep breath and stop playing victim.
How about we take this amount of focus and determination being used on something petty and shift it onto real issues that matter?
Richard Sneed, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, told the Associated Press he wasn’t offended by the Braves or “The Chop.” Sneed told reporters he’d like to “see more outrage about what he says are far bigger issues facing Native Americans, including poverty, unemployment, child abuse, sexual assaults and suicide.”
That sounds like a great idea. I’m in; what about you?
Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The Covington News. He may be reached at [email protected]
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)