The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Keep identity politics out of baseball

Braves fans watch Game 5 of the World Series at Truist Park on Oct. 31 in Atlanta.
Braves fans watch Game 5 of the World Series at Truist Park on Oct. 31 in Atlanta. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)
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I realize people are addicted to identity politics and the media is addicted to feeding people’s addictions, but Kevin B. Blackistone’s Oct. 29 Sports column ranting against the Atlanta Braves, “Houston mistreated the game; Atlanta mistreats people. Go Astros.,” was as boringly one-sided as the old Westerns that just used American Indians as action boogeymen. Amazingly, this was demonstrated in the Oct. 29 Sports article “Tides shift, ‘chop’ stays,” which saw fit to give the leader of the prominent Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Richard Sneed, a chance to explain why he and his people are fine with “Braves” and the tomahawk chop. Not only that — they learned that Mr. Sneed “bristles at outsiders who are ‘offended on our behalf.’ ” 

How dare Mr. Sneed think for himself! But he explains himself and his tribe clearly enough. Not that the “social scientists” who are pushing this complaint pay him any mind. They say they have determined that any team mascot with an Indian theme causes loss of self-esteem, depression, stress and suicidal ideation. They make no distinction between the terms “braves” (admirable) and “redskins” (demeaning), which shows that they are more interested in scoring ideological points than scientifically studying the actual feelings and reasoning of the people they claim to be nobly saving. 

Nor have they investigated mascot names very much or they would have had to deal with the phenomenon of the Washington Senators, the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia 76ers, etc. Let us watch baseball.

Steve France, Cabin John