ATLANTA - It was more than 25 years ago that the Atlanta Braves retired Chief Noc-A-Homa as their team's mascot.
A man dressed in full native garb would dance around his teepee after every Braves home run. After the 1986 season, the Braves went forward without Noc-A-Homa and, oddly enough, the racially insensitive mascot would not return.
The image of the screaming brave, a fixture in the Braves logo, would be retired as well.
However, today, Major League Baseball announced a new line of batting practice hats. These new hats featured some throwback images for various teams: the Reds hat features ole Mr. Redlegs, the Astros brought back the star 'H', and the A's are using their trademark elephant. Another one of these images featured the return of the screaming native. (Which can be seen at the start of this article)
How could this be approved in this day and age? We're not sure. That's why we here at Chicago Tough have put forth an imaginary press conference giving the team's rationale for the move. Enjoy:
What an exciting day for Braves Country!
Today, we released our new design for our 2012 batting practice hats! Our great city of Atlanta has been at the center of cultural change over the past 25 years: We're a center for African-American media, our hispanic population has grown by 300% over the past 10 years, and we've become a home for the arts.
That's why we decided today to get back to our racially insensitive roots! How can you love the new Atlanta without remembering the old Atlanta?!
Think of our great minority leaders in Atlanta's history: Andrew Young, Hank Aaron, even MLK lived here for some time.
That's why today we're releasing our new 'racially intolerant line'. Our brand new hat features a screaming native, with a mohawk, pierced ears; and he's probably yelling something warlike, or, maybe's he's just laughing. Who cares. He looks fantastic.
We tried to bring back Chief Noc-A-Homa, but we thought that the whole 'screaming around a teepee after every home run' might be just a bit over the edge. So, we're going with something a bit more subtle. Just for batting practice. When the game starts, it's back to 100% love and tolerance!
To our fans that may be offended, we apologize. We hope when you see this image that you won't think of racism first. We hope you'll think of Gene Garber. Or Dale Murphy. Or Doyle Alexander. Or any of our great teams before 1986. Actually, sorry. Don't think of 1986. Think of '82 and '83. Sorry about that. Just had visions of Rick Mahler. Yikes.
For our fans of native blood, look on the bright side: These images mean your people will never be forgotten! They'll be encapsulated forever in wonderful imagery: screaming, blood-thirsty, and cartoonish.