Governor Kemp Says That the Suggestion for Atlanta Braves To Change Their Name Is “Woke Cancel Culture” in Action

Toby Hazlewood

Kemp dismisses the idea

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Governor Brian KempTwitter of GovKemp

On October 2, Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp appeared on Fox News to discuss various hot topics - among them, the suggestion made by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre last week that a "conversation" over renaming the Atlanta Braves baseball team was long overdue.

Governor Kemp had dismissed the suggestion on September 26 when it was originally made, and he remained skeptical days later, dismissing the idea as "woke cancel culture" in action.

The Braves visit the White House

The Braves, baseball World Series Champions for the 2021 season - visited the White House for an audience with President Joe Biden on September 26 to recognize the Georgia team's achievements.

On the same day, a member of the White House press corp raised the topic of the team's name, and whether it was appropriate given the offence that has been caused to Native American and Indigenous communities through adopting such names and using related imagery as team mascots.

Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary responded as follows:

"We believe that it's important to have this conversation, and Native American and indigenous voices should be at the center of this conversation."

Ending the 'tomahawk chop'?

While there have been suggestions that to continue to use the name 'Braves' and to culturally appropriate symbols of Native American life - such as through the 'tomahawk chop' gesture - is offensive, it would seem that many Georgians believe that the club, its names and traditions are long-held and worth clinging onto.

Governor Kemp responded on social media on the day, stating that this suggestion shouldn't be tolerated.

Gov. Kemp has also since used the topic as a means of gaining political support and raising money from donors.

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Kemp fundraising advertTwitter of BrianKempGA

The Cleveland Indians changed their name in 2022

The same criticism has been levelled at other teams with similarly themed names.

The Cleveland Indians - another team whose name and logo drew on Native American history - carried that name from 1914 until the start of 2022 when they were renamed the Cleveland Guardians. The Braves have carried their name since 1912.

Both the Braves and the Indians have been pressured in the past to change their names - in 1995 a protest was held by various Native American groups who staged a rally outside the stadium, urging the teams to change their ways.

Whether the suggestion from the White House will result in any kind of "conversation" or a change in the name of the team, remains to seen. Given Governor Kemp's comments it seems unlikely that any sort of change will be coming in the near future at least.

Do you think that the Atlanta Braves should contemplate a change of name, or is the suggestion without grounds or merit? Is Governor Kemp right to dismiss the suggestion as "woke cancel culture" in action? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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