Former US President Donald Trump on Saturday welcomed the Atlanta baseball team with a performance of “Tomahawk Chop,” a sports celebration considered an insult to Indigenous people but popular with fans of many US sports teams.
Mr Trump, who whistled during a World Championship game two years ago in Washington, joined thousands of Atlanta Braves fans in faking the kick with his arm. Baseball (MLB) Best of Seven Final.
Donald Trump was in the locker room with his wife Melania at his side, who also echoed the controversial gesture that indigenous peoples consider an insult to their culture.
They were accompanied by former American football star Herschel Walker, who is vying for the position of senator from Georgia, a candidacy supported by the former US president.
While at the White House in October 2019, Donald Trump attended an MLB game in Washington, but his image on the stadium’s broadcast screens was met with whistles.
He then called for a boycott of MLB games, when the MLB decided to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Colorado in protest after the Georgia state assembly passed laws restricting voting rights.
The controversy over racism has not spared the US sports world, and MLB in particular. For example, this year the Cleveland Indians club decided to change its name to rename themselves “The Ranger,” out of respect for the American Indians.
The song “Tomahawk chop” remains popular with fans and supported by MLB, however, its commissioner Rob Manfred said this week that the practice has the full support of Atlanta’s Native Americans. “For me,” he said, “that’s the end of the story.”
But the president of the National Council of Native Americans, Fawn Sharp, noted that his foundation has repeatedly made it clear to the Atlanta Braves that “Native Americans are not mascots, and degrading rituals such as Tomahawk seal, which dehumanizes and harms us, has no place in American society.”
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