New Atlanta Braves Batting Practice Cap Not Racist

By David Miller
Atlanta Braves Batting Practice
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

As a cool little tidbit to the upcoming 2013 MLB season, all thirty teams are getting a new batting practice cap. As usual with any uniform change of any kind, opinions are all over the map. That’s great because opinions are wonderful things for everyone to have. The Atlanta Braves 2013 batting practice cap is stirring up more than just opinion, however. It features the old logo named Chief Noc-a-Homa, a depiction of a Native American with his mouth open as if to yell. It’s not racist, it’s a logo.

I understand the need of some to be ultra sensitive to such matters as racism in the world today but going after a classic logo like this is bordering on ridiculous. It was the arm band logo among being used other places from 1950 to 1986. Thirty-six years it was used and even for a time used as a name for a Native American that “lived” in the bleachers and came out to dance when a Brave hit a home-run. Some today would say that was racist as well. Was it though? Odawa Indian and best known Noc-a-Homa, Levi Walker, Jr. apparently didn’t think so.

The live version of the mascot didn’t stop being used until Walker and the Braves couldn’t reach a contract agreement in 1986. It wasn’t stopped because of a state-wide debate over Native American rights. This had nothing to do with racism then and it doesn’t now. The “new” old logo for the batting practice caps is as racist to Native Americans as the name of the San Diego Padres is offensive to priests. It’s a logo people. Calm down and enjoy it. If you don’t like the logo, don’t get the cap. If you like it, great. Either way, stop getting all roiled up because of a classic sports logo.

Follow David Miller on Twitter @davidmillerrant

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