Gov. Kemp responds to White House question about Atlanta Braves name change

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - For more than 50 years the Braves have called Atlanta home but some people believe it’s time for a change.

During a White House news conference Monday, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned about the team name as the Braves visited the White House and President Joe Biden.

“We believe that it’s important to have this conversation, you know, and Native American and Indigenous voices, they should be at the center of this conversation,” explained Jean-Pierre.

Last year the National Congress of American Indians stated that they had made it clear that native people are not mascots, and that rituals like the tomahawk chop dehumanize them and have no place in society.

But most fans CBS46 spoke with outside Truist Park on Monday said they didn’t feel a name change was necessary and they respect the Native American Culture.

“I think the Braves organization is a long-lasting tradition. One of the oldest teams in baseball and you have to stick with tradition for America’s oldest sport,” Brave fan, Jake Miller, said.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp echoed that same sentiment.

Gov. Kemp responded to the White House on Twitter saying in part quote “The Braves should always be the Atlanta Braves. Go Braves and Keep Choppin’!”

Last year CBS46 also spoke with former Braves mascot and member of the Odwa Tribe, Chief Noc-A-Homa. He spent 17 years with the Braves organization and said he always felt respected.

“There are some people in my tribe that did not like the idea of mascots,” Chief Noc-A-Homa said. “But the greater percentage, 80% of the tribe, always had respect for the organization.”

CBS46 reached out to the Braves for comment on Monday, but have not received a response.

The organization has previously stated they will not be changing their name. They said they came to that decision after speaking with fans and the Native American community.