Braves take Helsley’s concerns about Chop chant “seriously”

National

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Ryan Helsley throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Cincinnati. Helsley was disappointed by his first exposure to the Atlanta Braves’ fans use of the Tomahawk Chop for their chants during games. Helsley’s vantage point is different than most players who visit SunTrust Park. He is a member of the Cherokee nation.
(AP Photo/Gary Landers, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Atlanta Braves are promising to continue their dialogue with the Native American community in the wake of Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley’s criticism of the Tomahawk Chop chant.

Helsley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he thinks the chant is insulting, and the 25-year-old rookie was disappointed when it was heard during Game 1 of the NL Division Series against Atlanta.

Helsley is a member of the Cherokee nation. The Tahlequah, Oklahoma, native speaks the Cherokee language and is one of only a few Native Americans in the majors.

The Braves say they “appreciate and take seriously” Helsley’s concerns. The team says Saturday in a statement that it has “worked to honor and respect the Native American community through the years.”

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