The Atlanta Braves made a major concession Wednesday before beginning game five of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals — they agreed to abandon their normal “Tomahawk Chop” rallying cry.
In addition to abandoning the chant, at least as long as Helsley was in the game, the Braves also agreed to refrain from playing the music that normally accompanied the chant.
No foam tomahawks in seats here for game 5 of #NLDS at SunTrust Park. @Braves are reportedly reconsidering in-game ‘chop’ activities after @Cardinals Ryan Helsley’s comments that the chant was a “disappointment”and “disrespectful” to his Cherokee heritage. pic.twitter.com/B9UFx5h2vX
— Wes Blankenship (@Wes_nship) October 9, 2019
No foam tomahawks for fans for Game 5 –
This stems from Cardinals rookie Ryan Helsley saying the chant was “a disappointment” to his Cherokee heritage.
Braves “will also not play
accompanying music or using Chop-related graphics when Mr. Helsley is in the game” pic.twitter.com/Jdijku0z4E
— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) October 9, 2019
The Braves released an official statement regarding the move.
No foam tomahawks at tonight’s game, and some changes to the in-game chop program in response to concerns raised by Cardinals’ Ryan Helsley after Game 1. Statement from the Braves to Yahoo Sports: pic.twitter.com/90NMuEjwje
— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) October 9, 2019
The Braves’ official statement read:
Out of respect for the concerns expressed by Mr. Helsley, we will take several efforts to reduce the Tomahawk Chop during out 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.
The Cardinals came out of the dugout strong, beginning the game with a 10-run lead — by the end of the first inning. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Takes The Field In Softball Game At Iowa’s ‘Field Of Dreams’)
— Frank Cusumano (@Frank_Cusumano) October 9, 2019
The Cardinals are giving the Braves the foam finger.
— Benjamin Hochman (@hochman) October 9, 2019
The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to the National League Championship Series.