Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred addressed questions regarding the future of the Atlanta Braves name, logo, and “chop” during a press conference held before the start of the 2021 World Series.
“It’s important to understand that we have thirty markets around the country, they aren’t all the same, the Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community,” said Manfred according to a series of Tweets by Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. “The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including ‘The Chop’. For me, that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, we’re taking into account the Native American community.”
“We don’t market our game on a nationwide basis, ours is an everyday game. You’ve gotta sell tickets every single day to the fans in that market and there are all sorts of differences between the regions in terms of how the teams are marketed.”
The Braves name was inherited by the market following the relocation of the Milwaukee Braves to Atlanta in the 1960s. The name was first used by the franchise in 1912 when they still played in Boston. Team president John Montgomery Ward suggested to new team owner James Gaffney that the team, then named the Rustlers, should be renamed Braves in recognition of his affiliation with the Tammany organization in New York (a good Twitter thread about that here).
At this point is sounds like there are no plans to change by the Braves themselves or for Major League Baseball to put any pressure on the club to shift away from using Native American imagery. That certainly could change of course, you may recall that each of the former Cleveland Indians, Edmonton Eskimos, and Washington Redskins all were adament that they would not be changing but once corporate partners and sponsors began threatening to terminate their deals we were suddenly were greeted by the Cleveland Guardians, Edmonton Elks, and Washington Football Team.