Over a week ago I was watching the Saint Louis Cardinals playing Atlanta in the National League baseball playoffs. The game was in Atlanta, Georgia. The nickname of the Atlanta team is “Braves”. One of the traditions the team has is that during a rally by the home team the stadium music plays what is supposedly some type of Native American war chant. During this game the 30,000 plus fans take the Styrofoam hatchets/tomahawks they have either been given or purchased and raise and lower them in a stereotypical fashion they assume Native Americans did years ago. I thought to myself, “there is something offensive about what they are doing.” Some 200 plus years after the final decimation of the Native American culture, European Americans still are insensitive to other cultures.
So what kind of chant can minorities do to get European Americans to understand the pain that some of their rituals bring out in us? Maybe we can name a professional sports team, the European American Land Grabbers? Then during a rally the fans to the sounds of Joe Tex’s classic song, “I Gotcha” can pretend they are taking land from a Native American or a newly freed slave. Or option 2 is to name the team the “EnSlavers” and during rallies pretend that they are raping the wife of one of the opposing team players. Even better would be a professional team named the “Lynch Mob”. During rallies fans could lift up nooses that were distributed to them as they entered the stadium and point them at the opposing team’s dugout!
There really is no need for European Americans, or those of us taught to think like European Americans, to continue to give sports teams names that are related to Native Americans. Why do we do so? Only because we can and don’t really know the true history of Native Americans that would give us second thoughts to doing so. One player on the Saint Louis Cardinals team did express his displeasure with the chant, music, and tomahawk antics of the fans as supported by the team. Then the Atlanta Braves management reduced the antics some. But, the chant will return and the team name will continue because the Atlanta team will use the rationale of “tradition” to continue the offensive antics.
Yes, there are other professional sports teams with names related to Native Americans. Some schools over the years have done away with such names, but others continue the madness, only because they can. So why do those in authority and who control the name of a sports team continue with the politically incorrect naming convention? Only because they can.