Trump performs ritual seen as racist by Native Americans

Published November 1, 2021
Former US president Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19 at the White House on April 15, 2020. — AFP/File
Former US president Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19 at the White House on April 15, 2020. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: Former US president Donald Trump performed the controversial “Tomahawk Chop” cheer — denounced as a racist gesture by Native Americans — in support of the Atlanta Braves on Saturday while attending game four of baseball’s World Series.

Trump, who was booed when he attended a World Series game two years ago in Washington, joined thousands of Braves fans at Truist Park in Atlanta in making the chopping motion with his right arm before the team faced the Houston Astros in the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship final.

Trump was seated in a suite down the rightfield line and was joined by his wife Melania in the cheer, which Native Americans have deplored as a racist insult to their culture and heritage, with some groups calling for it to be retired. Racism targeting Native Americans hit home with MLB this year as the Cleveland Indians retired their nickname after years of complaints, and are now referred to as the Guardians. But the “Tomahawk Chop” remains a popular gesture among sports fans.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred backed it this week, saying Native Americans in the Atlanta area are “fully supportive of the Braves’ programme, including the chop.” “For me, that’s kind of the end of the story.” But National Council of American Indians president Fawn Sharp ripped Manfred’s comments, saying the group has repeatedly told the Braves that “Native people are not mascots and degrading rituals like the ‘Tomahawk Chop’ that dehumanise and harm us have no place in American society.”

The Trumps were joined in the suite by former Georgia college football star running back Herschel Walker, whose bid for a US Senate post from Georgia has been backed by the former president.

In his 2020 re-election bid, Trump narrowly lost the state of Georgia.

While US president in October 2019, he attended game five of the World Series in Washington and a chorus of boos broke out when his image was flashed on the stadium video display board.

Trump had called for a boycott of MLB after an April decision to move the MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta to Colorado in protest of restrictive voting laws passed by Georgia state lawmakers.

Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2021

Opinion

A whiff of hope

A whiff of hope

Despite the old script that has played out in front of us, political events do indicate some changes.

Editorial

Updated 17 May, 2022

Buyer’s remorse

It is strange to hear senior PML-N leaders lamenting the subsidies, yet not even coming up with a subsidy rationalisation plan.
17 May, 2022

Sikh traders’ killing

THE brutal murder of two Sikh traders in the outskirts of Peshawar on Sunday illustrates the vulnerability of...
17 May, 2022

Cholera outbreak

REPORTS of rising cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea in several areas are raising the spectre of a public...
Updated 16 May, 2022

Electoral reforms

EARLY elections or not? That is the question. And it seems to be weighing heavy on the mind of everyone in the...
16 May, 2022

Iran deal revival

WHERE the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is concerned, a great deal of fluidity exists regarding its fate....
16 May, 2022

Deprived of funds

THIS May, Pakistan’s former Fata region will complete its fourth year of merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The...