For many people who follow the headlines, Atlanta’s baseball team has been in most of the news cycles this week.
Every few years, the debate of the team’s name and signature “tomahawk chop” come up in the popular discussion. This is because both Native people and Native American activists see this as disrespectful. Recently, both Kansas City’s and Washington DC’s football team names have been changed due to the public’s ever-increasing outcry.
I have great faith this will be the final time Atlanta is asked to change their name and signature rallying cry.
Native people are not mascots; we are millions of people living and thriving in communities across the United States who are proud to be as diverse and different in our cultures, lifestyles and celebrations as we are resilient.
That’s why I hope you join me, Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, and the National Congress of American Indians in calling for the franchise to drop the name and chant.
It is long past time for the Major League Baseball and the Atlanta baseball team to join us in the present day and look forward to the future, leaving this tarnished past behind.
As ESPN commentator Jeff Passan noted on October 29, with the Atlanta team facing off with the Houston Astros in the World Series this week:
“Each of the next three days, a baseball stadium will dim its lights, thousands of people will illuminate the flashlights on their phones and they will engage in a wildly ahistorical, fundamentally problematic and altogether unnecessary ritual.
“The tomahawk chop, rubber-stamped earlier this week by the commissioner of baseball, will be broadcast on screens across the United States and around the world, and it will serve as a reminder that for all the progress made in eradicating unnecessary American Indian symbolism, it remains deeply embedded in sports.”
We are not your mascots.
Today, help us Change the Name by signing the petition below!