MLB Reporter Mocked After Giving 'History Lesson' on Why 'Tomahawk Chop' Is Racist

ESPN’s Major League Baseball reporter Jeff Passan took to Twitter on Friday to make a case for stopping the “Tomahawk Chop” practice long performed by Braves fans by citing the “truly racist” American policies of the early 20th century.

It wasn’t really received all that well.

Passan led off by explicitly addressing those with “deeply ingrained” opinions who find the tomahawk chop issue “disingenuous” and to make them understand the “mistreatment of indigenous people in Georgia.”

It's important, especially for those whose opinions on the matter are deeply ingrained and think any discussion of the tomahawk chop is disingenuous, to understand the mistreatment of indigenous people in Georgia and why the chop is so bothersome to many. So, a history lesson.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 29, 2021

Passan then delved into the specific origin of the Braves’ nickname.

Today, there are zero federally recognized tribes in Georgia. Zero. A truly racist American policy eradicated them. Remember, the Braves aren’t called the Braves to honor history. They got that nickname when they were in Boston as an homage to the Tammany Hall political machine.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 29, 2021

Passan followed with a tweet claiming that his “history lesson” was not about being “woke.”

This is not about being woke. It’s about acknowledging that an atrocity happened here, about owning a dark part of our past, and saying maybe, just maybe, not engaging in something that’s wildly ahistorical because it feels good, and for no other reason, is the right thing to do.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 29, 2021

Of course, merely saying something is not woke does not make it not woke. A fact hammered home by many Twitter users who blasted Passan for being woke:

No it appears you’re just woke.

— NubsGetDubs (@NubsGetDubs) October 29, 2021

Others responded with chops of their own.

— ShAnE (@ShAnEOH614) October 29, 2021

Others had an environmental take on Passan’s take:

We get it. And nobody should do the wave anymore because of how polluted our oceans are. We understand

— Chris Bishop (@mia305au) October 29, 2021

Some decided to give a humorous history lesson in response:

Brooklyn trolleys killed 100’s of people, it’s crazy how the Dodgers are so insensitive to these tragedies. Dodgers name change imminent!

– future Jeff Passan profile

— #GALLEG🎃sFAM (@galleg000s) October 29, 2021

This was a solid point:

Jeff you’re still not explaining what’s actually wrong with the chop. What’s racist about it Jeff.

— Diamondbacks Support Group (@SadDbacks) October 29, 2021

On Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred defended the “Chop” by highlighting support from Atlanta’s local Native American community.

“The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop,” Manfred said, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. “For me, that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, we’re taking into account the Native American community. …In Atlanta, they’ve done a great job with the Native Americans. The Native American community is the most important group to decide whether it’s appropriate or not.”

It doesn’t sound like the “Chop” is going anywhere anytime soon.

Sorry, Jeff.

Dylan Gwinn