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Braves move to reduce use of Tomahawk Chop

@mlbbowman
October 9, 2019

ATLANTA -- The Braves said Wednesday that they planned to address Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley’s concerns by reducing the number of times they played the Tomahawk Chop audio during Game 5 of the National League Division Series. After Game 1, Helsley said he found the Tomahawk Chop chant to be

ATLANTA -- The Braves said Wednesday that they planned to address Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley’s concerns by reducing the number of times they played the Tomahawk Chop audio during Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

After Game 1, Helsley said he found the Tomahawk Chop chant to be disrespectful to his Cherokee heritage. The Braves responded by saying they would consider limiting the promotions and in-game entertainment features that focus on The Chop.

The Braves halted a postseason tradition by not distributing foam tomahawks before Game 5. The club also said when Helsley was in the game, the accompanying music would not be played and Chop-related graphics would not be displayed.

The club issued the following statement:

“Out of respect for the concerns expressed by Mr. Helsley, we will take several efforts to reduce the Tomahawk Chop during our 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."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.