The Washington Redskins announced on Monday, July 13, that the team would retire its nickname and logo. This decision comes after many years of criticism in light of the history behind the name. The Cleveland Indians have said that they will consider a name change.
But the Atlanta Braves are keeping their name despite other sports teams’ decisions.
How did the Atlanta Braves get their name?
The Braves played in Boston and Milwaukee before moving to Atlanta in 1966. Before the team changed its name to the Braves, they were known as various other names during the late 1800s and early 1900s. James Gaffney, the president of the team in 1911, was a member of Tammany Hall, which was a Democratic Party. Tammany’s name originated from Tammamend, a Delaware Valley Indian chef. Gaffney then decided to change the team’s name to the Braves.
In 1936 the team changed its name to the Bees but returned to the Braves in 1941. The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966 and have been there ever since. Throughout the years, there have not been any serious thoughts or considerations about changing the team’s name. In 1976 Ted Turner, who owned the Braves at the time, talked about possibly changing the team’s name to the Eagles. The main reason why he wanted to change the name to the Eagles because it would tie in with the city’s other sports team names, the Falcons and Hawks.
That idea dropped immediately, and the name of the team stayed the same. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a brave is an American Indian warrior. The Braves have won 17 National League pennants and three World Series championships. The team’s last World Series title came in 1995 when they defeated the Cleveland Indians.
The name will remain the same
There have been conversations nationally about racially insensitive logos of sports teams, but the Braves are 100 percent committed to keeping its 108-year-old name. The organization released a statement saying that the team “honors, respects, and values the Native American community,” adding that “as an organization, we have always drawn strength from our diversity and respect for everyone. That will never change.”
There have been multiple conversations with the organization and Native American and tribal leaders regarding the team’s name. The organization said, “changing the name of the Braves is not under consideration or deemed necessary. We have great respect and reverence for our name, and the Native American communities that have held meaningful relationships with us do as well. We will always be the Atlanta Braves.” The statement made by the organization shows that they took in careful consideration and value their name.
The “Tomahawk Chop” may soon be no more
While the name of the team will not be going anywhere, ‘The Tomahawk Chop’ maybe gone. Braves’ fans have been doing the chop for many seasons, and the organization is continuously having conversations about the future of the chop. “As it relates to the fan experience, including the chop, it is one of the many issues that we are working through with the advisory group,” the team said in its statement. “We are continuing to listen to the Native American community, as well as our fans, players, and alumni to ensure we are making an informed decision on this part of our fan experience.”
The chopping motion and chant was originally a Florida State Seminoles cheer during football games. When Deion Sanders joined the Braves in 1991, he introduced the chant to the baseball fans. The NFL Hall of Famer played three sports at Florida State. The organization will make sure that the right decision will be made.