Amid increasing outcry over the use of Native American imagery and references for sports team names and in team design elements, the Cleveland Indians and NFL's Washington Redskins each announced plans to study the possibility of name changes. For now, however, it appears the Atlanta Braves will not follow suit.
The Associated Press passes along a statement by the team that reads in part:
"We have also held meetings with our Native American Working Group which will collaborate with us on cultural issues, education and community outreach to amplify their voices and show our fans they are still proudly here.
"The Atlanta Braves have a meaningful commitment to honor the Native American community and we are excited about working together to ensure this happens."
The statement also says the team has "created an even stronger bond with various Native American tribes, both regionally and nationally, on matters related to the Braves and Native American culture." As well, the Braves in the statement say that the team "honors, supports, and values the Native American community. That will never change."
While light on specifics, the Braves' statement strongly implies that a name change is not presently a consideration, an implication echoed by Ken Rosenthal's report on The Athletic. Rosenthal, however, does report that the team will discuss its use of the tomahawk chop.
As the AP notes, the use of foam tomahawks and chants during Braves home games recently became a source of controversy once again during the 2019 NLDS. Last October, Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, objected to the "chop." The Braves subsequently de-emphasized the chop during the remainder of that playoff series.
The franchise has used the Braves name since 1912, when it was still located in Boston. The name followed the franchise through relocations to Milwaukee and then to Atlanta prior to the 1966 season.