There was quite the controversy when Major League Baseball unveiled a handful of new designs for the upcoming Spring Training caps and jerseys used by its member clubs. The biggest of those involved the Atlanta Braves and their resurrecting of a long-dormant logo depicting a Native American often referred to as the “screaming savage.”
According to Braves team president John Schuerholz, the organization had never settled on using the offensive logo on their new BP caps this year, but it was one of five designs the club had been considering. From MLB.com:
“I like the selection we made this year,” 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.
“When we made our decisions, we tried to contemplate. We tried to be creative. We tried to carry on the theme of our organization, and we think this script A does that. It is part of the continuum of the uniform look we have. We’ve never had one that looks like this during Spring Training.”
As Dave Brown of Yahoo points out, however, the screaming savage logo had already appeared in more than one catalogue, so it seems more likely that the club simply altered course after coming up against a significant backlash with the new, old design.
The Braves took a serious PR hit by even considering bringing this logo out of retirement. In the end, there is no cause for celebration with the club opting against promoting offensive stereotypes of minority cultures. This is simply doing the thing they always should have been doing. And I’m kind of against applauding someone for doing what they are supposed to do.
Now that this travesty has been averted, maybe the Cleveland Indians can follow suit and banish Chief Wahoo as well.
In place of the screaming savage, Atlanta will don the familiar “A” logo they’ve used for the past several years. The caps will be worn during Spring Training, and throughout the season during pre-game batting practice.