Former President Donald Trump joined Atlanta Braves fans for Game 4 of the World Series, joining in the famous “tomahawk chop” celebration after the team went up three games to one over the Houston Astros.
Trump was sitting in a suite at Truist Park with former first lady Melania Trump in attendance as well and when the celebration was teed up, the former president took part along with other Braves fans, though the tomahawk chop has become a sore spot for some in recent years because they believe it is bigoted and racist against Native Americans.
Video posted online shows a great many Braves fans also taking part in the celebration, which has historically been used to signify a Braves victory over an opponent.
Trump doing the chop pic.twitter.com/EWYJujgvtM
— Sam Ann 🐈 (@samannraven) October 31, 2021
Fox News reported that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfried was questioned about the celebration earlier this week, responding that the Braves were supported in the celebration by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians based about three hours away from Atlanta in North Carolina.
“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,” Manfried told reporters.
“In that market, we’re taking into account the Native American community,” he said on Tuesday.
Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Richard Sneed, meanwhile, told The Associated Press that for him, the focus should be on other issues of importance to Native Americans, including enduring poverty and unemployment along with sexual assaults, child abuse, and suicides.
“I’m not offended by somebody waving their arm at a sports game. I’m just not,” Sneed told the AP.
“If somebody is, that’s their prerogative, it’s their right. They can be offended. … I don’t know very many — maybe one or two — from my tribe who say, ‘Yeah, I don’t like that.’ But at the end of the day, we’ve got bigger issues to deal with,” Sneed added.
But the head of the National Congress of American Indians pushed back on Manfried’s explanation, saying that his statement left out a lot.
“In our discussions with the Atlanta Braves, we have repeatedly and unequivocally made our position clear: Native people are not mascots, and degrading rituals like the ‘tomahawk chop’ that dehumanize and harm us have no place in American society,” said NCAI President Fawn Sharp in a statement.
NCAI reiterates its longstanding opposition to the Atlanta @Braves' mascot and “tomahawk chop” fan ritual as the team plays in the @MLB #WorldSeries.
Read NCAI President Fawn Sharp’s full statement: https://t.co/pPWkoziRie#NotYourMascot pic.twitter.com/N3RxEEASLs
— National Congress of American Indians (@NCAI1944) October 27, 2021
Sharp also said the Braves ought to change their team name as well, and television broadcasts should stop showing fans engaging in the celebration.
Liberal sports writers have also lambasted the Braves and the celebration.
For instance, The Associated Press published a column by Paul Newberry under the headline, “Pull the plug on the chop — and Braves name, too.” Newberry noted that the celebration “will be impossible to ignore now that the World Series has shifted to Atlanta,” going on to opine that viewers will be treated to “unfortunate” visuals.
“Simply put, the Braves and their co-conspirator are on the wrong side of history, not unlike those who continue to defend the Confederate flag and statues as nothing more than peaceful symbols of Southern heritage,” Newberry wrote.
Left-leaning CNN, meanwhile, published a piece that deemed the chop “racist” and “dehumanizing,” while Mic noted the “racist Tomahawk Chop is here to stay.” And left-wing MSNBC host Joy Reid complained that the celebration is “portraying hatred of Native American people.”
But Manfried stuck by his statement and said to his mind, the Braves organization is not disrespecting Native American people.
“I don’t know how every Native American group around the country feels,” he said. “I am one hundred percent certain that the Braves understand what the Native American community in their region believes and that they’ve acted in accordance with that understanding.”
Still others complained that sports have become inundated with ‘woke’ counterculturalists who are bent on targeting American traditions for the sake of targeting them.
“A sport that helped define America and American men for more than 100 years has been taken over by those who hate the sport, the fans and our country,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
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