Former Georgia Bulldogs running back and state senate candidate Herschel Walker weighed in on the Atlanta Braves nickname, and whether it should be removed.
Given Walker is running as a Republican, it’s easy to guess which side of the debate he fell.
The Braves visited the White House earlier this week, and the Biden Administration weighed in on the team’s name, which some Native Americans find offensive. Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, spoke on the President’s behalf, and came just short of asking the team to alter their nickname or the Tomahawk Chop.
“We believe that it’s important to have this conversation, and Native American and Indigenous voices should be at the center of this conversation,” Jean-Pierre said.
Herschel Walker speaks out on Atlanta Braves
That, on the surface, isn’t something to get offended over. Yet, here we are.
Walker spoke out following the line of questioning in the press briefing, saying that he himself has spoken to several Native Americans, and that they are okay with the team name. He was also more concerned as to the view of his Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, on the matter rather than having an open forum. This has been a common excuse from previous defenders of the Washington and Cleveland nicknames.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke on this issue nearly a year ago, stating that the team name was, in fact, not racist: “The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop,” Manfred said. “For me, that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, we’re taking into account the Native American community. …In Atlanta, they’ve done a great job with the Native Americans. The Native American community is the most important group to decide whether it’s appropriate or not.”
Native Americans have pushed back against this claim.
For now, it doesn’t appear Braves or the Tomahawk Chop are going anywhere. Time is not as forgiving, however, and eventually there will be some sort of real public debate. That time does not appear to be now.