Trump blasted for doing Atlanta Braves' "tomahawk chop" at World Series game

Native American groups have long been frustrated by the longtime tradition, which they view as a "caricature"

By Brett Bachman

Published October 31, 2021 11:43AM (EDT)

Former first lady and president of the United States Melania and Donald Trump do "the chop" prior to Game Four of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Truist Park on October 30, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Getty Images)
Former first lady and president of the United States Melania and Donald Trump do "the chop" prior to Game Four of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Truist Park on October 30, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Getty Images)

Eagle-eyed fans at Saturday night's World Series game between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros spotted former President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, doing the controversial "tomahawk chop" from their box.

The incident was captured on video and posted to Twitter, sparking a conversation over the gesture, which has long been used by Braves fans but recently caught the ire of those who wish to rethink Americans' use of Native American symbols as sports mascots.

Last month, the MLB commissioner suggested during an interview that there was nothing controversial about the gesture, or the Braves' embrace of a Native mascot.

"The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community," Manfred said. "The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves' program, including the chop.


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But, following Manfred's comments, Native groups spoke out against the Tomahawk chop, referring to it as a "caricature" and calling to halt its use immediately.

It has since become a culture war issue, taken up by the right-wing media as a tradition worth defending at all costs.

Many took to Twitter to criticize Trump for embracing the gesture.

"He'll do anything to go viral again. He misses the Twitter attention so much," one user wrote.

"I didn't think the Chop could get more cringe but there you go," another said.

The Nation's sports editor, Dave Zirin, even predicted the controversy, writing that Trump "is traveling to the World Series just so he can be filmed doing the tomahawk chop in Georgia with his fellow @Braves. But if you state the obvious: that this all carries the stench of a white supremacist photo op, you're being divisive."

RELATED: Trump caught in a lie about being invited to World Series game by MLB commissioner: report

Trump also was caught this weekend in a lie about being invited to the game by Manfred — subsequent reports suggest he called MLB officials about getting into the game, and not the other way around.

Atlanta ultimately won the game 3-2 to take a 3-1 series lead.


Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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