Braves Tomahawk Chop
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Braves could ditch ‘Tomahawk Chop,’ but won’t change name

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves are internally discussing whether or not to continue encouraging the use of the “Tomahawk Chop,” a rallying cry used by Braves fans at Truist Park. To do the “Tomahawk Chop,” fans imitate a Native American chant and wave a foam tomahawk or an empty hand back and forth. It is usually prompted by music played over the public address system.

MLB’s Braves and Indians, as well as the NFL’s Redskins and Chiefs and the NHL’s Blackhawks have received criticism in recent years for the use of Indian names and iconography. Last week, due to pressure from FedEx which holds the naming rights to their stadium, the Washington football team said it “will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” The Indians also released a statement, saying, “We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”

The Braves most prominently received blowback about the “Chop” during the playoffs last year when Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley — a member of Cherokee Nation — said, “I think it’s a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general. Just depicts them in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren’t intellectual.” Helsley added that he felt the act is “disrespectful.” The Braves issued a public statement, removed foam tomahawks from their stadium, and promised not to instigate the “Chop” while Helsley pitched.

While the Braves may ditch the “Tomahawk Chop” (as well as rebrand their “Chop House” restaurant and “Tomahawk Team” spirit group), Rosenthal notes that the Braves have no intention to change the name of the team.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.