Atlanta Braves to Keep Name, Consider Ban on 'Tomahawk Chop:' Report


The Atlanta Braves are reportedly considering forbidding a mock Native American chant at their home stadium, but have no plans to change their name.

The Braves said in a recent statement that they "have much work to do on and off the field," but the team is comfortable with its nickname and associated imagery, according to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal.

The chant came under scrutiny in last year's playoffs, when St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley, a member of the Cherokee tribe, took exception. Helsley said it depicted Native Americans as "caveman-type people who aren't intellectual."

The Braves cancelled a foam tomahawk giveaway at their next home game, and avoided playing the stadium music that prompts fans to chant while Helsley was pitching, Rosenthal reported.

The Braves released a statement over the weekend saying it will never change what it called its longstanding support for the Native American community. It came just days after the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians announced they would change their nicknames and related imagery, relenting to years of pressure.

The Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee in 1966, keeping the nickname after the relocation. Their roots go back to Boston in the earlier part of the 20th century, where they were the Boston Braves until they moved to Milwaukee in 1953.