Posted on September 27, 2022

Karine Jean-Pierre Says There Should Be a ‘Conversation’ About the Atlanta Braves Changing Their Name

Rob Crilly, Daily Mail, September 26, 2022

The White House press secretary on Monday said it was important to have a conversation about the Atlanta Braves’ name, hours after President Joe Biden celebrated their 2021 World Series win with the team.

It comes at a time when several professional sports teams have jettisoned Native American terms as nicknames or titles – such as the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now known as the Commanders.

In contrast, Braves’ fans continue to do their ‘Tomahawk Chop’ celebration.

‘We believe that it’s important to have this conversation,’ said Karine Jean-Pierre when she was asked about the name during her daily briefing.

‘And Native American and indigenous voices, they should be at the centre of this conversation. That is something that the president believes, is something that this administration believes and he has consistently emphasised that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.’

The Braves team was in the East Room earlier in the day, when Biden welcomed the World Series winning players to the White House.

He described their ‘unstoppable, joyful’ run to an unlikely title after being counted out earlier in the season.

But he made no mention of any controversy over their name as he received a Braves jersey.

In fact, Major League Baseball last year all but drew a line under the issue.

Commissioner Rob Manfred last year said that different teams operated in different markets.

‘Not all are the same. The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community,’ he said before the World Series.

‘The Native American community in that region is fully supportive of the Braves’ program, including the chop.

‘For me, that’s kind of the end of the story.’

It meant the issue did not take the sheen off the Braves’ day at the White House, when Biden recounted the ups and downs of their unlikely year.