Source: ESPN.com
New? More like all too old.

Really, Atlanta? Braves Bring Back 'Screaming Savage' Logo

ICTMN Staff
12/27/12

Major League Baseball has released the designs for the batting practice caps to be worn by its 30 teams in the 2013 season, and one in particular is raising eyebrows.

A logo from the Atlanta Braves' past, known as the "Screaming Indian" or "Screaming Savage," has returned. The image has not been seen on Braves' players gear since it was retired in 1989. The Screaming Savage was considered one of the most offensive Native caricatures in sports, and for many Natives its retirement seemed a victory in the fight against stereotypes in pop culture. When the Braves brought back a replica of their 1966 uniform prior to the 2012 season, the outfit was nearly identical to its predecessor with one obvious exception: The Screaming Indian on the jersey sleeve had been replaced by two crossed tomahawks.

For Natives, this seemed confirmation that the caricature was a thing of the past, and for dyed-in-the-wool Braves fans it was a terrible concession to the scourge of political correctness.

"Call me a traditionalist or maybe just a longtime fan, but I miss that old screaming Indian," wrote one wistful sports journalist. "I miss Chief Noc-a-Homa. I miss him doing the dance on the mound before the game, blowing fire and taking off in a sprint to his teepee. And yes, I miss seeing that teepee in left field."

For those who miss such things, and who will probably never give up the Tomahawk Chop, there's reason to cheer the return of the Screaming Indian (sometimes called "Chief Noc-a-Homa," although that name is more closely associated with the flesh-and-blood mascot who performed at games).

But for Natives, and much of the sportswriting/blogging world, seeing the logo again in use is very disappointing. That's the word used by Paul Lukas of Uni-Watch.com, who is probably the foremost scribe on professional athlete apparel, in his ESPN review: "Unfortunately, it turns out that the logo hasn't been permanently mothballed. Disappointing. Grade: F"

Others had similar reactions:

"Perhaps ownership was sick and tired of the Washington Redskins and their culturally insensitive name remaining the most offensive rendition of Native American culture in this country," wrote Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report. He added, "Atlanta should retract these hats immediately. The organization is better than this."

In a post tagged "racism," Tom Ley of Deadspin described the logo as an Indian "captured here in mid-shriek as he watches either a Braves home run or the forcible uprooting and assimilation of his culture."

"Hands down, the worst," was Trent Rosecrans' verdict at CBS Sports' Eye on Baseball blog.

Dylan Murphy of SportsGrid presents some pro and con Twitter reactions, but concludes that "No matter how the Braves PR department tries to spin it, the logo is racist – it’s just a screaming Native American head, emphasizing stereotypes and the emotional simplicity of a people."

But what's next? There is plenty of time bofore the 2013 season starts, and the organization could, as Timothy Rapp suggested, scrap the hats. But will they?

The Braves organization has a choice -- the same choice it has always had: Either pay attention to the many who decry the images as racist, as the NCAA has done, or tell these people to stuff it, as Daniel Snyder's Redskins organization has chosen to do. The former road is the one that, like it or not, all sports teams are destined to take, and the road that the Braves seemed to be on. But now logo- and mascot-watchers must wonder whether the progress made in 1989 and earlier in 2012 was all for naught.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am contacting the Braves and expressing my displeasure!....How offensive and insensitive.....

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Really? In 2012? This is hard to believe on one hand but frustratingly ignorant and embarrassing on the other. It is offensive to me as I am humbled by the First Nations People and The Good Red Road but also as an American. What would the response be to a pro team ANYWHERE having a black-faced vaudeville man as their logo and the team motto was: "Yes, Massah, I knows we can do it!"? There would be riots! There is NO difference

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
While your informing the Braves Sports Office, why not inform the White House and their public affairs staff as well? Lots of 'promises' were assumingly given in the recent re-election, it is time for the White House to give back to American Indian tribes that helped in the President's re-election. If the White House can take time out and appear on ABC's "The View" or provide comments/opinions to trivial events appearing on national news, the President should be given an opportunity to express his stance to how "indians" continue to be exploited as national iconic sports figures. Remember the President is the adopted black brother/son to an Indian Tribe....

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Get over yourselves. The only ones complaining are White Liberals without an ounce of Indian Heritage.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Now would the logo be okay if it were on a casino? Would it be okay if it were portrayed in a documentary to the strong history of Native Americans? Would it be okay it the tribes profited from it? Seems strange how these teams had these symbols and names for close to a century, and now its bothering the native people. I am appalled by the "We will sue!" Attitude of it all. Its a drawing representative of a strong warrior, a warrior that represents pride of the nation. So an image that shows a once proud warrior is a bad thing????

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
some urban indians who are willing to latch onto anything native american will buy this. They are so hungy for culture that they identify with anything "Indian" Just like that End of the Trial B.S. Learn your Language, you cannot buy culture from white people!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Absurd. Instead of wasting time on a meaningless gesture that does nothing to help the inequalities that are still heaped on Native Americans, perhaps journalists could use the power of their pens to truly act on behalf of Native Americans where it really counts---on the reservations, in the schools, and in something that will not be simply symbolic

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Interesting that the people in the article expressing their disappointment are all non-Natives. How is this logo insensitive? It is not a cartoon characterization, it is a respectible drawing of a male yelling becasue the Braves did something positive, an act that happens many times each game. Is there a better logo they could use OR do you think it is offensive to use the team name "Braves".

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
How is it offensive? Please, somebody explain it to me. I don't see anything really wrong with it personally. It's just a picture of a Native American screaming. It's not meant to be interpreted as an image that reflects the culture of an entire race of people, nor is it meant to reflect anything negative towards Native Americans in general. That much should be obvious, and anyone who thinks otherwise is completely biased. It's just a logo for a sports team. And personally, if you don't have any interest in the team, the sport, or just sports in general, then I think your opinion on the subject is moot anyway. Do you think Irish people are offended by the university of Notre Dame?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I'm Native American and this is not offensive in the least. Chief Wahoo, on the other hand, is. But this? Not really.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Yuck. If some team did that with a Black man, they would never hear the end of it. So, all out Black Indian bretheren, feel free to chime in on this.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
The slave owners missed having slaves. So we should bring back slavery? Not quite the same level, but sheesh. If a group of people are offended, respect that and withdraw the mascot/symbol.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
The slave owners missed having slaves. So we should bring back slavery? Not quite the same level, but sheesh. If a group of people are offended, respect that and withdraw the mascot/symbol.

Linsey mingo's picture
Linsey mingo
Submitted by Linsey mingo on
As a Native American (Choctaw tribe) and a devout braves fan I WILL BE BUYING THIS HAT!! I find nothing wrong with it. The Cleveland Indians logo is one million times worse. Where's the uproar for them? Give me a break

Linsey Mingo 's picture
Linsey Mingo
Submitted by Linsey Mingo on
As a Native American (Choctaw tribe) and a devout braves fan I WILL BE BUYING THIS HAT!! I find nothing wrong with it. The Cleveland Indians logo is one million times worse. Where's the uproar for them? Give me a break

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Grow up ! What is the big deal ? Shouldn't let it bother you. It is a mascot.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Are you kidding me? You believe something a politician said while running for office? Isnt this the same guy that promised to have the house and senate votes made public 4 years ago?He also ran Bush's name in the ground on the wars.Obama"I will have our troops out of Afganastan in 9 months"wow 3 years and 3 months later, STILL THERE! Now its changed to a new plan,Bush's original plan!I cant believe you have the nerve to pretend this is racist!Find somthing important too cry about.The only disgrace I see is the people making up reasons to cry like you.Grow up and do somthing worth your time.You are simply wasting your time.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
i am a pround native american of the Yokut nation. in my opinion i think this logo should not be under this much discrutiny when there are other pro teams that have native american logos. NFL Washington Redskins, MLB Cleavland Indians, Hockeys Blackhawks. i dont see a problem i admire all the logos they look great.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
i support the braves and bringing back this logo. im native american and I AM NOT OFFENDED BY THIS LOGO!!!!!!

Braves Fan's picture
Braves Fan
Submitted by Braves Fan on
Come on the hat looks great. Ya'll need to grow up, there are more important things in this world than complianing about a hat!!!!!

Im Black.'s picture
Im Black.
Submitted by Im Black. on
It's really not that serious. I mean I've never seen a black logo. I want a logo....
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