Former President Donald Trump did the tomahawk chop with Braves fans at the fourth game of the World Series in Atlanta, video of the controversial fan salute showed.
Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump watched the Saturday night match between the Braves and Houston Astros from a private suite, the New York Post reported.
The fan-favorite gesture has become controversial amid the nation’s conversation on racism and professional sports symbols. The Washington Football Team and the Cleveland Indians both recently changed their names in response to criticism of their previous names.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has said the local Native American community is "wholly supportive" of the Braves' program, including the chop, adding the team has "done a phenomenal job with the Native American community,” The Hill reported.
Manfred's position is a turnaround from the strict stance against Georgia earlier this year, when he quickly punished the state over its new voting laws by pulling the All-Star Game out of Atlanta and moving it to Denver. The switch was estimated to cost small business owners upward of $100 million in potential revenue.
Georgia would get the last laugh if the Braves end up winning the series.“It’s the greatest irony of all,” Atlanta-based marketing and branding expert David Johnson told Newsmax about a possible Braves victory in the series, the first since 1995.“People want to enjoy their sports,” he told Newsmax. “We are beginning to see a backlash more and more with this ‘wokeism,’ be it in entertainment or sports. People are tired of it. They don’t believe ‘woke’ belongs here,” he added.
Trump announced Saturday afternoon he’d be attending Game 4 of the World Series, writing in a statement he was invited by Manfred and New York Yankees owner Randy Levine.
But officials at the league said Trump had requested to attend, and was not invited, CBS Sports reported.
In April, Trump called for a boycott of the MLB after it announced the All-Star Game would be moved out of Georgia in opposition to its passage of a restrictive voting bill.
Atlanta beat Houston, 3-2, to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
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