05.14.11

MLB’s Civil Rights Game : Nice Idea, Shame About One Of The Participants

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner at 2:00 pm by

On Sunday, for the 5th consecutive season, Major League Baseball is commemorating Civil Rights Day, with the event taking place tomorrow afternoon when the Braves host the Phillies.  “There’s no city in all of Major League Baseball that represents both Major League Baseball combined with civil rights than Atlanta,” boasted Braves GM John Schuerholz yesterday, and he might be right.  A more pointed question, however, might be whether an emphasis on civil rights is thoroughly undermined by ritual acts, logos and merchandise that demean Native Americans.  MLB.com is flogging various caps and shirts to mark tomorrow’s occasion, and you’ll note while they’ve got the Braves wearing uniforms & caps of the Negro Leagues’ Atlanta Black Crackers today, Sunday’s swag seems to be remarkably tomahawk-free.  The same can’t be said for the actions of the paying customers, however, who see no irony in attending something that’s meant to mark “Civil Rights Weekend” while Tomahawk chopping during Kyle Kendrick’s warm-up tosses in the last of the 6th inning.  There’s also the unfortunate timing of Roger McDowell returning from suspension just in time for this weekend’s series, as if you needed any reminder that while toiling as one of the Braves’ most beloved players, John Smoltz famously compared same-sex marriage to getting hitched to Mr. Ed

If you’re thinking the Braves are in a no-win situation with me, you’re 100% right.  There’s probably nothing they could do prior to this weekend that would’ve met with my approval short of repudiating the Chop (did the A/V dept. not receive a memo about this?) and asking the former Chief Noc-a-homa to hand out literature at the gate explaining how some peoples’ civil rights are every bit as precious as others’.

(UPDATE :  I take it back, I’m no longer so sure a city in the State of Georgia is the place to mark Civil Rights Day).

4 Responses to “MLB’s Civil Rights Game : Nice Idea, Shame About One Of The Participants”

  1. Cody says:

    As one who is part Native American AND lifetime Braves fan, I honestly find nothing offensive about the Chop or the Braves in general. The Native American groups that protest the Braves, Indians, Florida State, North Dakota, etc., actually represent a tiny minority of the population. Most Native Americans… simply… don’t… care.

    Many actually see it as an honor that their people would be deemed worthy to be the mascot of sports team, since they generally try to find something with tenacity to represent their club.

    And if the Braves are offensive, why is nothing ever said about Notre Dame? The FIGHTING Irish? You know, since they’re drunk all the time and just want to throw down?

    Not that you care. Your bias is obvious that you’d rather restrict the First Amendment in favor of being nice.

    While you’re at it, write something condemning some of the lyrics by Ludacris or things said by Common about inter-racial relationships. That’s ACTUALLY offensive.

  2. GC says:

    whether those who find the Braves, Chief Wahoo, etc. offensive are a large minority or a small minority is immaterial. The sheer number of persons who find something objectionable has nothing to do with a cause’s legitimacy.

    “Your bias is obvious that you’d rather restrict the First Amendment in favor of being nice.”

    I’ve no interest in restricting anyone’s free speech. I just think there’s something deeply ironic (if not totally fucked) about celebrating Civil Rights Day in a ballpark where Native Americans are reduced to cartoon characters. The Braves and their fans are free to express themselves however they wish. If they believe that kind of thing is socially acceptable (and clearly MLB will turn a blind eye til the end of time), that’s their decision to make. The public would be far less tolerant of a major sports franchise deeming Blacks, Jews, Asians, or Homosexuals “worthy” of being mascots ; that there’s a free pass when it comes to Native Americans ought to bother EVERYONE, whether you’re 1/2 Native American, one quarter or zero percent. If someone voluntarily decides to do the right thing, that’s not censorship.

    “While you’re at it, write something condemning some of the lyrics by Ludacris or things said by Common about inter-racial relationships. That’s ACTUALLY offensive.”

    If you’d like to cite Ludacris’ specific lyrical content, please feel free. As for Common, I’m not particularly familiar with the man’s work (“Just Wright” looks pretty awful, however) but I don’t believe MLB asked him to participate in any Civil Rights Day events, which might have a little to do with why I CHOSE NOT TO BRING HIM UP IN A POST ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS DAY. Jesus fucking christ.

  3. Braves fan says:

    Mr. GC

    DO NOT EVER USE JESUS WITH THE F WORD!!!!!!!!!!

    MAY GOD BLESS.

    A CHRISTIAN, BRAVES FAN

  4. icecreammang says:

    Hey Braves fan: Jesus Fucking Christ thinks you need to chill the fuck out.

    May god bless your keyboard so the caps lock key comes unstuck.

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