For years upon years, the Atlanta Braves have been lumped into a large and cagy argument regarding the appropriateness of a number of professional sports team names here in the United States.
Of course, the real offenders were the Washington Redskins, whose name and logo were an undeniably obtuse reference to an ethnic slur once used to refer to Native Americans.
The Atlanta Braves, while still referencing Native Americans, have done so without the ethnic slur, and under the strict supervision of a Native-led advocacy group that reviews the team’s imagery and message.
Now, however, with the death of Braves legend Hank Aaron, a new conversation about changing the team’s name has begun.
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Because Aaron was known as “Hammerin’ Hank” when he was hitting dingers during his illustrious career, fans began to call on the Braves to change their name to the Hammers.
An online petition on Change.org began to circulate online after Aaron’s death.
“The renaming serves two important purposes: 1) It honors an icon who represented our city with grace and dignity for more than half a century, and 2) It removes the stain on the city of having a team name that dishonors Native and Indigenous people, especially given one of the greatest tragedies in American History, the Trail of Tears, began in the region the team calls home,” the petition said.
The petition garnered more than 300 signatures as of Saturday evening.
One of the first to give the idea a vote of confidence was another of the Atlanta Braves’ legendary players, Dale Murphy.
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