ATLANTA - The Braves did not pass out tomahawks at Wednesday's game and will "reduce the Tomahawk Chop" after complaints by a Cardinals player earlier this series.
After Games 1 and 2 at SunTrust Park last week, Rookie Ryan Helsley said he found the Tomahawk Chop "disrespectful" to his Cherokee heritage.
"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. They are a lot more than that. It's not me being offended by the whole mascot thing. It's not. It's about the misconception of us, the Native Americans, and it devalues us and how we're perceived in that way, or used as mascots. The Redskins and stuff like that," Helsley told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Saturday. "That's the disappointing part. That stuff like this still goes on. It's just disrespectful, I think."
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The Braves responded to Helsley's concerns by saying they would not distribute foam tomahawks at Game 5 on Wednesday and will "not playing the accompanying music or using Chop-related graphics when Mr. Helsley is in the game."
Read the Braves full statement below:
"Out of respect for the concerns expressed by Mr. Helsley, we will take several efforts to reduce the Tomahawk Chop during our in-ballpark presentation today. Among other things, these steps include not distributing foam tomahawks to each seat and not playing the accompanying music or using Chop-related graphics when Mr. Helsley is in the game. As stated earlier, we will continue to evaluate how we activate elements of our brand, as well as the overall in-game experience. We look forward to a continued dialogue with those in the Native American community after the postseason concludes."
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