Sports teams and Native Americans have a long and sordid history. Is the Cleveland Indians’ mascot Chief Wahoo a loving tribute or a racist stereotype? Is the name the Washington Redskins… Uh… Let’s steer clear of that one…
Baseball’s Atlanta Braves are no strangers to controversy. The team’s use of the “tomahawk chop” has often been criticized, and not just because they stole it from Florida State. Plus, let’s just say Chief Noc-A-Homa wasn’t the high point in U.S./Native American relations.
Which is why the New York Mets decided it might be a good idea to backtrack when the realized they had scheduled their annual Native American Heritage Day event during a game against Atlanta.
Problem is, the Mets weren’t worried about offending the American Indian Community House who they co-organized the event with. The team was worried about offending the Braves!
According to the New York Times, “Concerned that such activities might be interpreted by the Braves organization as a form of protest over its nickname, the Mets drastically reduced the day’s activities.”
Angered by what they considered a reneging on months of planning, the A.I.C.H. pulled out of the July 25th event, essentially cancelling it.”This whole thing wasn’t even our idea,” Kevin Tarrant, the deputy director of the A.I.C.H., is quoted as saying.
Looks like the white man has driven the Native Americans out one more time.