Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue said on Monday that they do not support an effort to rename the Atlanta Braves after another MLB team, the Cleveland Indians, said it would change its name.
“We adamantly oppose any effort to rename the Atlanta Braves, one of our state’s most storied and successful sports franchises. Not only are the Braves a Georgia institution—with a history spanning 54 years in Atlanta—they’re an American institution,” Loeffler and Perdue said, according to a press release.
Both the Braves and Indians named their teams in honor of American Indians.
“The Braves’ name honors our nation’s Native-American heritage, which should not be erased—and under no circumstances should one of the most celebrated teams in sports cave to the demands of the cancel culture and the radical left,” said the Senate candidates who face a runoff election on Jan. 5.
Atlanta’s MLB team named itself after a Native-American warrior.
The Cleveland Indians named itself after Louis Sockalexis, who is believed to be the first Native American to play in the major leagues. He played for the Cleveland Spiders from 1897 to 1899.
The Atlanta Braves also have a tomahawk logo and tomahawk chop chant.
The team sells foam tomahawks, which fans use during the chant.
The Braves so far have committed to keeping the team’s name, despite pubic pressure, but team officials said they may halt the tomahawk chop and chant.
“I think it’s a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general,” St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley said about the chop chant.
“Just depicts them in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren’t intellectual,” he said. “They are a lot more than that.”
Lucian Sneed, principal chief of the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, said he supports Atlanta’s name, CBS News reported.
“The use of the name Braves elevates the Native Americans,” he said. “The Best of the Best. To be a Brave is Supportive of what it means to be a BRAVE. The BEST of the BEST.”