Mets attempt to honor Native Americans … with Braves in town

July 10, 2013

(Elsa / Getty Images)

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

In March, the New York Mets approached the American Indian Community House, a New York non-profit, about teaming up for a Native American Heritage Day at Citi Field. July 25 was settled upon as the best date for the multicultural event.

Until … this ended in a most Mets-like way. Someone noticed just whom the Mets happen to be playing July 25. That would be the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets scaled back activities like singing and dancing outside the ballpark because they feared the Braves would interpret the festivities as a form of protest. A Mets spokesman told the New York Times that the team “opted to forgo the group sale in this case as our multicultural days and nights are celebratory versus political in nature.”

In response, the AICH, which says its mission is to “cultivate awareness, understanding and respect” for American Indians who live in New York, pulled out of the event. “Being a nonprofit in the city, we’re not in the business of making enemies,” Kevin Tarrant, deputy director of the AICH, told the  Times. “This whole thing wasn’t even our idea. But it just feels like we’re being marginalized again within our own community.”

Although the Braves have been criticized for things like the Tomahawk Chop, Tarrant said no protests were planned.

“We just thought it would be great to show natives in a positive light — that we’re human beings, and we’re not from 300 years ago,” he said. “We’re visible. … It was a win-win situation. We’d be supporting the Mets, the Braves and Major League Baseball.”

The Mets did suggest Aug. 8 and Aug 25 as alternate dates, but the AICH had a week of events planned around July 25 and chose not to participate.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | July 10, 2013