White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre inspired the Atlanta Braves to have a “conversation” about choosing a brand new name Monday — hours after President Biden hosted the team to have fun their 2021 World Series championship.
Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News requested Jean-Pierre at her common briefing for Biden’s position on the Braves’ nickname in addition to the controversial “tomahawk chop” cheer.
“We believe that it’s important to have this conversation, you know, and Native American and indigenous voices, they should be at the center of this conversation,” Jean-Pierre responded.
“That is something that the president believes, that is something this administration believes, and he has consistently emphasized that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” she added.
“You hear that often from this president. The same is true here. And we should listen to Native American and indigenous people who are the most impacted by this.”
Biden himself had no qualms about saying the team’s name throughout a celebration within the White House East Room — and famous that its use dates again greater than a century, when the Boston Rustlers turned the Boston Braves in 1912.
“My grandfather was an All-American football player at Santa Clara, and he was a newspaper guy up in Scranton, Pa. His name was Ambrose Finnegan. And when it was the Boston Braves, he didn’t like it. But at any rate, that’s another story,” Biden joked.
The president, congratulating the team on their championship, added that “the Braves will be forever remembered for the unstoppable, joyful run that this team made last year.”
Biden additionally paid tribute to the late Hank Aaron, who performed for the franchise in Milwaukee and Atlanta for 21 seasons.
Aaron “shattered a lot of records, but he shattered them in racism as well, with dignity and with class,” the president mentioned.
“It was a rough start [last year], plagued by injuries. The All-Star break, not one day of a winning record. Given a 0.4 percent chance of winning on CNN. No, I’m only joking,” Biden went on.
“At any rate — but the franchise never quit. It never gave in. You rebuilt the whole outfield practically overnight. Play by play, inning by inning, you grinded and you ground it out, and you did it together.”
Biden even labored in a joke about his personal slim victory in Georgia within the 2020 election.
“People counted you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out. And I know in Georgia, you show up when it counts,” he mentioned.
Sports groups throughout the nation have confronted stress to change their names in deference to Native American activists who say it’s offensive to make use of their tradition for business branding.
The Washington Redskins gave right into a long-running stress marketing campaign in July 2020 to change the soccer team’s name, which some advocates mentioned traditionally was used as a racial slur. The team is now generally known as the Commanders.
The Cleveland Indians baseball team dropped their name final year and have become the Guardians.
There is ambiguity on whether or not American Indians need the Braves to rename themselves, nevertheless.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned final year that American Indians help the Braves name.
“The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community,” Manfred said. “The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop. And for me that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, taking into account the Native American community, it works.”
Richard Sneed, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, primarily based in western North Carolina, defended the Braves name in 2020.
“To me, the Washington Redskins name was probably the only team name that I could look at and say that’s derogatory, that’s a racial slur,” the chief said. “But all the rest – they’re an affirmation of the honor and strength and courage and the warrior spirit of native people.”
Other teams oppose the Braves name. The National Council of American Indians and the Muscogee Nation, primarily based in Oklahoma however traditionally from the American Southeast, need the team to rename itself.