The Atlanta Braves have decided to silence the "screaming savage" this season. Apparently reversing course after people complained loudly enough, the Braves won't be using a culturally insensitive caricature of a Native American on their batting practice caps. Congratulations to them for doing something that should have been obvious.
Instead, the familiar letter "A" in neoclassic Atlanta Braves script appears on the cap, as in the photo above. The letter "A" never offended anyone, unless you were the lead character in a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. Only a cynic would call the Braves' decision a victory for political correctness, when it's simply the right thing to do.
Team president John Schuerholz insisted during this interview with MLB.com, however, that there was no backtracking. Just a leak:
While the "screaming Indian" logo was one of five proposed designs, the Braves said a decision on the design had not been made before the potential hats were leaked.
"I like the selection we made this year," Braves president John Schuerholz said. "We had a variety of choices that we looked at, some more thoroughly than others. But at the end, we liked this one. The fact that one person somewhere offered his personal opinion about one of our options, that was important to him."
Uh, is that what happened? As Gondee of Talking Chop points out, it seems like some verbal backpedaling is going on. Especially when the "screaming" guy cap already had appeared in at least one sporting goods catalog. If anything, the Braves were set to go with the caricature but also were ready with a backup cap in case the controversy was too much. I suppose it's good they decided eventually, here in 2013, that they didn't need to be using more caricatures of minority cultures. That they even considered using one, after ditching it in the '90s, remains disappointing. This is one image from childhood that Braves fans should be able to live without.
[Baseball 2013 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]
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