Braves Axe ‘Tomahawk Chop’ During Game Five After Complaint From Cardinal With Cherokee Heritage

REUTERS/Tami Chappell

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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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.

Cardinals rookie pitcher Ryan Helsley, who is of Cherokee descent, had criticized the chant, calling it “a disappointment.”

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.

The Braves released an official statement regarding the move.

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’)

The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to the National League Championship Series.