Atlanta Braves Fans Helped Chop And Chant Their Team To Embarrassing Loss Out Of The Playoffs

Divisional Series - St Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves - Game Five
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A St. Louis Cardinals player is Native American, and he said it was offensive. Atlanta Braves officials suggested they would discourage it.

You know, sort of.

The national media ripped it . . . again.

Despite controversy swirling around SunTrust Park in Atlanta Wednesday night regarding all of that chopping and chanting from the 19th century, Braves fans still were clueless.

So, after the Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz threw a ball for the first pitch of the game, “it” echoed from everywhere.

Ohhhhh,

Ohhhh Ohhh.

Ohhhhhh Oh Ohhhhhh

There wasn’t the usual prompting for the chopping and the chanting from the scoreboard, the organist or the guy on the big drum beyond the outfield wall. This time, the whole thing took a life of its own. It came from those who felt entitled to do whatever they darn-well pleased along these politically incorrect lines inside of the $722 million fun house of the Braves in its third season.

One run for the Cardinals.

Then three.

Then eight.

Then, with the Cardinals solidifying their trip to the National League Championship Series, they crushed the hometown team during the fifth and decisive game of the National League Division Series with a few more runs.

10-0.

After the first inning.

Chop that!

To paraphrase what my grandmother used to say, “The baseball gods don’t like ugly, especially when you’re so arrogant that you thumb your nose at doing the right thing with playoff elimination at hand.”

Jack Flaherty and his right arm (six innings, one run, four hits, eight strikeouts and a walk) had much to do with the Cardinals advancing. The same went for St. Louis hitters pounding Braves pitchers early and often.

Braves fans contributed, too. Big time.

They irritated the baseball gods, along with likely the Cardinals, by chopping and chanting mostly for themselves.

Before the game, which eventually had the Cardinals sprinting to a 13-1 victory in search of grabbing individual checks surpassing $400,00o for winning the World Series, Braves officials announced through a press release what they should have told the world at least 25 years ago.

They blew it.

They acknowledged in so many words that they shouldn’t encourage fans to engage in offensive behavior by chopping and chanting.

They said they would repent . . . sort of.

They said they wouldn’t continue their tradition of handing out silly foam rubber tomahawks to those entering the ballpark (even though more than a few fans brought their own).

They said they wouldn’t entice the crowd into chopping and chanting with graphics on the scoreboard or through the organist playing a beat and a tune more appropriate for old westerns depicting Native Americans as something less than civil.

Here’s the “sort of” part: Braves officials said they would tone done those tomahawk graphics and that organist thing, but they said they only would do so if Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley entered the game, which he didn’t.

Helsley is a member of the Cherokee Nation. After the chopping and chanting went full blast at SunTrust Park during Game 1, Helsley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "I think it's a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general. Just depicts them in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren't intellectual. They are a lot more than that.

“It's not me being offended by the whole mascot thing. It's not. It's about the misconception of us, the Native Americans, and how we're perceived in that way, or used as mascots. The (Washington) Redskins and stuff like that."

Yep, and the Braves play in Georgia, where The Trail of Tears forced Helsley’s ancestors from the state during the 1830s for relocation in Oklahoma, where he was born and raised 25 years ago in Tahlequah.

Even so, with Helsley watching from the bullpen, Braves fans kept chopping and chanting in this one.

They did it in a massive way during the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Braves couldn’t score with the bases loaded. They had a minor round of chopping and chanting in the bottom of ninth when the Braves ended their season with a Dansby Swanson strikeout.

In case you’re wondering, this chopping and chanting began in 1991, when the Braves went from worst to first to start a record string of 14 consecutive division titles. The concept was interesting and unique in the beginning, but it got boring and routine by the middle of the 1993 season.

It just became obscene and racist after that.

A slew of Braves fans couldn’t care less.

The baseball gods care.

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A St. Louis Cardinals player is Native American, and he said it was offensive. Atlanta Braves officials suggested they would discourage it.

You know, sort of.

The national media ripped it . . . again.

Despite controversy swirling around SunTrust Park in Atlanta Wednesday night regarding all of that chopping and chanting from the 19th century, Braves fans still were clueless.

So, after the Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz threw a ball for the first pitch of the game, “it” echoed from everywhere.

Ohhhhh,

Ohhhh Ohhh.

Ohhhhhh Oh Ohhhhhh

There wasn’t the usual prompting for the chopping and the chanting from the scoreboard, the organist or the guy on the big drum beyond the outfield wall. This time, the whole thing took a life of its own. It came from those who felt entitled to do whatever they darn-well pleased along these politically incorrect lines inside of the $722 million fun house of the Braves in its third season.

One run for the Cardinals.

Then three.

Then eight.

Then, with the Cardinals solidifying their trip to the National League Championship Series, they crushed the hometown team during the fifth and decisive game of the National League Division Series with a few more runs.

10-0.

After the first inning.

Chop that!

To paraphrase what my grandmother used to say, “The baseball gods don’t like ugly, especially when you’re so arrogant that you thumb your nose at doing the right thing with playoff elimination at hand.”

Jack Flaherty and his right arm (six innings, one run, four hits, eight strikeouts and a walk) had much to do with the Cardinals advancing. The same went for St. Louis hitters pounding Braves pitchers early and often.

Braves fans contributed, too. Big time.

They irritated the baseball gods, along with likely the Cardinals, by chopping and chanting mostly for themselves.

Before the game, which eventually had the Cardinals sprinting to a 13-1 victory in search of grabbing individual checks surpassing $400,00o for winning the World Series, Braves officials announced through a press release what they should have told the world at least 25 years ago.

They blew it.

They acknowledged in so many words that they shouldn’t encourage fans to engage in offensive behavior by chopping and chanting.

They said they would repent . . . sort of.

They said they wouldn’t continue their tradition of handing out silly foam rubber tomahawks to those entering the ballpark (even though more than a few fans brought their own).

They said they wouldn’t entice the crowd into chopping and chanting with graphics on the scoreboard or through the organist playing a beat and a tune more appropriate for old westerns depicting Native Americans as something less than civil.

Here’s the “sort of” part: Braves officials said they would tone done those tomahawk graphics and that organist thing, but they said they only would do so if Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley entered the game, which he didn’t.

Helsley is a member of the Cherokee Nation. After the chopping and chanting went full blast at SunTrust Park during Game 1, Helsley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "I think it's a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general. Just depicts them in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren't intellectual. They are a lot more than that.

“It's not me being offended by the whole mascot thing. It's not. It's about the misconception of us, the Native Americans, and how we're perceived in that way, or used as mascots. The (Washington) Redskins and stuff like that."

Yep, and the Braves play in Georgia, where The Trail of Tears forced Helsley’s ancestors from the state during the 1830s for relocation in Oklahoma, where he was born and raised 25 years ago in Tahlequah.

Even so, with Helsley watching from the bullpen, Braves fans kept chopping and chanting in this one.

They did it in a massive way during the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Braves couldn’t score with the bases loaded. They had a minor round of chopping and chanting in the bottom of ninth when the Braves ended their season with a Dansby Swanson strikeout.

In case you’re wondering, this chopping and chanting began in 1991, when the Braves went from worst to first to start a record string of 14 consecutive division titles. The concept was interesting and unique in the beginning, but it got boring and routine by the middle of the 1993 season.

It just became obscene and racist after that.

A slew of Braves fans couldn’t care less.

The baseball gods care.

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I started as a professional sports journalist in 1978 at the Cincinnati Enquirer after I graduated from Miami (Ohio) University, and I’ve been doing the same thing ever ...