Some Atlanta Braves fans were not happy with the injection of political correctness that Cardinals rookie Ryan Helsley, a member of the Cherokee Nation and grandson of a full-blooded Cherokee, brought to the team this week.
The athlete previously said he found Atlanta’s famous “tomahawk chop” cheer, which was often done with foam tomahawks handed out to fans at games, to be “disrespectful” and “disappointing.”
“We’re sensitive to it,” a spokesperson for the Braves said in response to Helsley’s comments. Wednesday’s game-five of a National League Division Series did not include the foam tomahawk handouts, and the sound used to encourage fans to make the chopping cheer was reportedly reduced.
Braves fans responded by doing the “chop” cheer even without the tomahawks in protest of the Cardinals player.
“That did not stop fans from doing the chant on their own — as they did with erratic success in the early innings — and three times in the early innings the Braves played the drumbeat in the stadium to invite the chop,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Fans also took to social media to blast the “crybaby” pitcher.
“F***ing grow up and stop being a crybaby!!” one Twitter user wrote to Helsley on the social media platform.
Helsley is a cry baby….. Affected fans, affected players, affected momentum … I don’t exactly think y’all stole this series though I believe y’all paid for it fair and square 👎 Go nats even though braves stomped y’all this season too
— Tyler McCullough (@TylerMc97982440) October 10, 2019
“Among other things, these steps include not distributing foam tomahawks to each seat and not playing the accompanying music or using Chop-related graphics when Mr. Helsley is in the game.” Bullshit
— David Pyke (@loftwyr) October 10, 2019
“I’m trying to use my voice to get awareness out there and try to help people in that way, to help people see another side, help people see our side,” the pitcher recently told the press. “The fans are supporting their team, and I understand that. The mascot thing is what gets most people. I know people will see it the way they want to see it. I want to share my view. I respect the Braves for doing what they did.”
“Out of respect for the concerns expressed by Mr. Helsley, we will take several efforts to reduce the Tomahawk Chop during our in-ballpark presentation,” Atlanta’s vice president of communications Beth Marshall said in a statement responding to the concerns. “Among other things, these steps include not distributing foam tomahawks to each seat and not playing the accompanying music or using Chop-related graphics when Mr. Helsley is in the game. As stated earlier, we will continue to evaluate how we activate elements of our brand, as well as the overall in-game experience. We look forward to a continued dialogue with those in the Native American community after the postseason concludes.”
Check out more responses to the changes below. Some fans even blamed the lack of foam tomahawks on the Braves losing Wednesday’s game:
Does anyone know why I haven’t yet read that the #Braves has informed Brian Snitker that he will not be coming back next year? Also, why have they not yet fired and roughed up whoever made the decision to get rid of the foam tomahawks?
— Scott Perry (@sportswithscott) October 10, 2019
Many baseball fans, including me and @SheridanReport, have echoed the sentiment the Baseball Gods punished the #Braves last night for their ban of foam tomahawks. #Cardinals #NLDS https://t.co/sE3JkZAvyc pic.twitter.com/SMqLGIWEII
— ᴛᴏɴʏ ᴡᴜᴇɴᴄʜ (@twuench) October 10, 2019
Unless the @Braves reverse course and bring back the chop – foam tomahawks, music, and all, they are on a dangerously slippery slope to becoming the Atlanta Heroes wondering where all of the fan support went.
— Jeff Clark (@ugafan618) October 10, 2019
Fire the person who decided not to pass out tomahawks at the Braves game.
— NoChillCy (@TellEmWhyCy) October 10, 2019
To take the tomahawks away right before the game was the lamest thing the Braves have ever done to the fans. It screwed up the energy. That should hv been dealt with in the offseason or last offseason or something. To do it right b4 game 5 yea I will never get over that EVER.
— DMan (@DManAtl11) October 10, 2019
@kingcfb The darn Braves learned nothing from the “Curse of Chief Nok-A-Homa” back in the early 90’s. Removed him and his tepee and lost a series they should have won. Removed the tomahawks yesterday and lost a series they should have won. Sad.
— Carl Cucuzza (@KudzuCarl) October 10, 2019
braves w/o tomahawks? no wonder they lost
— steve ciaravino (@CiaravinoSteve) October 10, 2019
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