The Atlanta Braves and their fans have been criticized for their continued use of the tomahawk chop in recent years. Now, facing the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series, the iconic celebration has drawn the ire of Cardinals rookie reliever Ryan Helsley.
"I think it's a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general," Helsley - himself a member of the Cherokee nation - told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"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.
"That's the disappointing part," Helsley continued. "That stuff like this still goes on. It's just disrespectful, I think."
The "Braves" mascot has followed the franchise through multiple relocations. The team first adopted the name in 1912 while in Boston and retained it during moves to Milwaukee in 1953 and Atlanta in 1966.
However, the club only began using the tomahawk chop celebration in Atlanta, after the team adopted it from the Florida State Seminoles.
After facing immense pressure, the Cleveland Indians stopped using the infamous Chief Wahoo logo on all on-field merchandise at the beginning of the 2019 season.