Manfred Claims The Atlanta Braves Name Is Going Nowhere

But names have been changed in the past.

As the World Series winds down and Major League Baseball heads into an off season of uncertainty as the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players expires, there is one sure thing. The Atlanta Braves brand name is staying and the tomahawk chop is going nowhere. That was the word from Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. According to Manfred, the local Native Americans are “wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop.” But there were some local Native Americans that were fine with the University of North Dakota’s school nickname, The Fighting Sioux. The name is gone but there was a fight as the school wanted to retain the name.

In August 2005, the NCAA decided that 19 schools had names or mascots that were “hostile or abusive” and that the offensive names, logos and mascots had to be gone by February 1st, 2006 or the schools would face sanctions which included not being able to host post season championship events in all sports and the barring of the use of the team name and logos during post season tournaments. The schools were given a choice to change the name and the associated logos or go to local Native American or Indian tribes and see if they can get approval to continue using names and logos and mascots. The University of North Dakota sued the NCAA claiming the school’s athletic nickname, The Fighting Sioux, was not offensive. By 2008, the NCAA and the University of North Dakota settled the lawsuit with the school agreeing to retire The Fighting Sioux name unless it received approval from both the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes by the end of 2010. Spirit Lake said yes, but Standing Rock said no. The name disappeared. Manfred claimed MLB is a regional sport but outside pressure forced name changes and Atlanta may be next.

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Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa celebrates his RBI single during the eighth inning in Game 5 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)