A Modest Proposal

I came up with an idea the other day. It’s such a simple, obvious idea that I’m sure other people have previously thought of it. But if they have, I’ve never heard anyone talking about it. So I’m going to share the idea with you today — my apologies if you’ve already heard it (or, for that matter, if you’ve come up with it yourself).

Here’s the deal: Last Friday the Tugboat Captain and I had lunch with longtime Uni Watch reader/pal Marty Buccafusco and his brother, Chris. They grew up in Georgia, and Marty currently lives in Atlanta (he was in town for a friend’s birthday party), so at one point the talk turned to the Braves — and their use of Native American imagery.

We all pretty much agreed that the team should scrap the whooping Indian (duh), scrap the tomahawk, ask fans to stop doing the chop, and even change its team name. That’s the only way to make a clean break from the use of Native iconography, we figured.

But then Chris, who likes to engage in thought experiments (he’s a law school professor), proposed a compromise approach, which led to an interesting back-and-forth between him and me. It all happened pretty fast, and we’d both had a few drinks, so this transcript isn’t a word-for-word reproduction of what was said, but I think it captures the gist of it:

Chris: For some people, changing the team name would be going too far. What if they got rid of everything else — the tomahawk, the chop, all of that — but kept the team name?

Me: No. That undercuts the whole thing — you know it does.

Chris: I know, I know. But just try to work with me here. What if, hypothetically, they kept the team name but repositioned it to mean something else?

Me: What do you mean “something else”? The word braves, in our culture, refers to a Native American warrior.

Chris: But what if it meant something else?

Me: But it doesn’t.

Chris: Yeah, but what if the team basically redefined it to mean something else?

Me: Like what?

Chris: What if it referred to brave people. A bunch of brave people are “braves.” Firefighters, say — they’re “braves,” because they’re brave.

Me: Why would you want to come up with some sort of convoluted meaning like that? Just scrap the name and come up with a new one.

Chris: I bet if you repositioned the meaning of the name, within 20 years nobody would view it as a Native American thing.

Me: Why wait 20 years, and why stand on your head trying to create new definitions of things? Just come up with a new name.

Chris: No no no — imagine an alternate world where, say, Rudy Giuliani is doing one of his press conferences with New York City firefighers, and he says, “I’m really proud of these braves!”

Me: I can imagine all sorts of alternate worlds, but we’re living in this world. And in this world, Rudy Giuliani doesn’t talk like that, and neither does anyone else. In this world, New York City firefighters aren’t “braves.” They’re “New York’s…”

And that’s when it hit me.

New York City firefighters are known as “New York’s Bravest.” And as it happens, the word “bravest” is almost the same as the word “braves” — all you have to do is add a “t” at the end. But that one simple letter completely recontextualizes the word:

Braves → Bravest

So that’s my proposal: In addition to scrapping all of the Native iconography, the Braves should rename themselves the Atlanta Bravest (or, if they prefer, “Atlanta’s Bravest”). They could use imagery relating to firefighters, or police officers, or other brave public servants (although they’d probably lean heavily on military themes, which we already have too much of in sports these days), and the name would function as a link to the team’s former name without glorifying it.

When I proposed all of this to Chris, he said, “Hmmm — you’re asking that ‘t’ to do a lot of work. Do you really think it would make enough of a difference?”

Yeah, I do. And look, I know the Braves aren’t changing their name anytime soon (and I also know many of you think there’s no need for them to change their name, which is fine — we can agree to disagree on that point). But if and when they’re ever ready to do so, I think “Bravest” would be a good solution.

(Footnote: Some of you are no doubt rushing to the dictionary and preparing to tell me that a “brave” actually can be defined as “a brave person,” just as Chris suggested. But come on — have you ever, ever heard anyone talk that way? Is there anyone in America who, upon hearing the word “braves,” would not think of Native Americans? “Bravest” is way better.)

•  •  •  •  •

Kyrie Irving traded for mannequin: There was a bit of excitement yesterday afternoon when Cleveland-based photographer Josh Teplitz tweeted a photo of what he said was the Cavs’ new red uniform (shown at right; click to slightly enlarge). Someone must not have been happy about that, because Teplitz soon deleted his tweet, but by that time the photo was circulating all over the place and there was no way to get the toothpaste back in the tube.

The number font shown on the jersey matches the new Cavs font that NBA uni watchdog Conrad Burry reported on Twitter last Friday, so I’d say that argues in favor of the uniform’s legitimacy. (The font is also brutal, but that’s another matter.)

Conrad used that photo, along with some inside info to which he’s had access, to createkelly mock-ups of the Cavs’ red and white uniforms.

One note: If you leave aside the leaks of dubious legitimacy and stick to images that appear to be trustworthy, I believe every full-view Nike NBA uniform we’ve seen so far — Raptors, Thunder, Kings, and now Cavs — has had a logo on the waistband. Granted, that’s a small sample, and the Raptors already had that maple leaf logo there last season, so that one isn’t new. But still, seems like a trend. Something to keep an eye on.

•  •  •  • •

Naming Wrongs update: Naming Wrongs continues to move along quite nicely. First, in response to many requests, we’ve added new color options for our line of Vet shirts, which are now available in green and grey/green (click to enlarge):

For the green design, note that Teespring’s various brands of T-shirts and sweatshirts come in a variety of shades of green. I used kelly (or kelly-ish)kern whenever possible and settled for hunter when that was the only option for a given brand.

We also had requests for additional Candlestick color options, so we now have that available in red with white lettering, red with white/gold lettering (the gold outlining is easier to see if you hover your cursor over the shirt), and grey (click to enlarge):

Also: We had lots of requests from fans in Houston who miss the Dome, and we’ve come up with a bunch of designs for that, beginning with a standard type treatment available in navy, orange, grey with orange lettering, blue, grey with blue lettering, and white (click to enlarge):

But here’s the beauty part: Designer Scott Turner has also come up with a really cool dome-shaped treatment, which we’re making available in navy, orange, white with orange lettering, blue, and white with blue lettering. Check it out (click to enlarge):

All of these designs are now available in the Naming Wrongs shop. They’re also cross-listed in the Uni Watch shop, where card-carrying members can get 15% off. (If you’re a member and need the discount code, send me a note and I’ll hook you up.)

•  •  •  •  •

The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Indians P Mike Clevinger was forced to change gloves yesterday after the Angels lodged a complaint about his glove being too light-colored. Here’s a good comparison (from Robert Hayes). … The Rangers will wear this patch this weekend to honor Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez (from TJE). … Before the Cardinals had a mascot, they had Miss Red Bird ”” a Miss America-style contest that selected the team’s “official hostess” for the season (thanks to all who shared). … Here are the logos for the teams in a new Argentinian baseball league (from Carlos Sánchez). … The President of the University of Northern Iowa threw out the first pitch at a recent Cedar Rapids Kernels game while wearing a softball jersey. According to Jesse Gavin, the school killed its baseball program in 2009. … The Johnson City Cardinals wore some nice-looking throwbacks last night. … The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will wear Wisconsin Badgers-themed jerseys and give away a Sam Dekker bobblehead on “Strike Out Cancer Day” Aug. 22 (from Zachary Loesl). … Couple of notes from Japan: Rough dark blue-on-black matchup between Hokkiado Nippon Ham Fighters and Chiba Lotte Marines, and lots of color and stripes in the matchup between Hanshin Tigers and Yokohama DeNA Baystars (from Graveyard Baseball). … New baseball unis for Ohio Dominican University (from Danny Desch). … The American Legion, of all organizations, uses baseballs that are made in China (from Tris Wykes). … Padres P Buddy Baumann wore some classic-looking stirrups last night (from James Beattie). … Mets OF Yoenis Céspedes wears a lot of bling, which looks sort of ridiculous during his home run trot.

NFL News: Whoops: A store in in Michigan is selling Lions 2016 NFC North Champions gear ”” of course, the Packers won the division last season (from Brinke). … The Giants will wear their Color Rush throwbacks on a Sunday ”” Week 14 against the Cowboys. Here’s the rest of their uniform schedule (from Phil and Devon). … It looks like a bunch of teams have received shipments of the new Schutt F7 helmet, including the Lions, Bills, and Washington (who were the only team to take the trouble to cut the striping tape as it crossed the helmet’s flex panels). … Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium has new scoreboards (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Falcons’ new stadium has a display of helmets of every Georgia high school football team that has won a state championship (from James Gilbert). … Arthur Savokinas found this photo of Irving Police Department patch that includes a Cowboys helmet. Must be old, considering the Cowboys now play in Arlington. … An NFL news Twitter account shared a photo of Robert Griffin III wearing an old Browns jersey ”” a style he never wore (from Ryan Getty). … Spotted at a London rugby bar: This strange Junior Seau Chargers jersey (from Arash Markazi”).

College Football News: San José State is now being outfitted by Adidas, which has saddled the team with the dreaded tire tread pattern. Also, note the accent over the “e” — much more prominent than on their previous jersey (from Carl). … North Dakota State is installing new field turf. Interesting to see those blank boxes on the field, which is presumably where the yard numbers will be placed (from Brett Baker). … Wisconsin seniors donned throwback uniforms for the team schedule poster in honor of Camp Randall Stadium’s 100th Anniversary. … Looks like Purdue Pete left his hammer in Chicago during Big Ten media days (from Erik Spoonmore). … USF is among the teams that will be using the Schutt F7 this year (from Michael Princip). … Here’s a ranking of the Pac 12’s best unis (from Phil). … Remember this new logo the UNLV recently unveiled? Vegas reporter Ed Graney says they’ve apparently scrapped it already.

Hockey News: The Lightning are soliciting fan input on a new alternate jersey for 2018-19. … The Predators now have an extensive uniform and logo history page on their website. … On display at a Toronto museum: This “scalloped” Maple Leafs chest logo ”” a design that was never implemented (from Devlin Ralph). … Not a great photo, but it appears that Providence College’s red line will now feature the team’s “Skating Friar” logo (from Dan Herr). … Scott M. Trembly found a Mack Truck hockey jersey at the company’s headquarters store. Looks like they were inspired by the Golden Knights. … What’s worse than jersey ads? Jersey ads that push the Captain’s “C” into the wrong spot (from Rovitz).

NBA News: You probably won’t catch Paul shooting at this purple hoop (from Tom Konecny). … This guy in Australia probably getting a little ahead of himself (from B.T. Knope). … New court apparently in the works for the Pacers.

Soccer News: We may have seen this before, but here is Manchester City’s new away kit (from Wayne Muller). … This graphic shows every away and third jersey that Real Madrid has worn in its history (from Josh Hinton). … A kid in Edmonton used colored markers to draw a soccer kit and sent it to Adidas. The company surprised him by turning his concept into an actual jersey (from Phil).

Grab Bag: For years, a Utah state flag hung in the Kennedy Center in Washington with a typo ”” until a Capitol staffer recently noticed (from John Muir). … Whataburger, a burger chain with locations primarily in the southwest, is giving away these custom Nike sneakers for the #WhataThoseContest ”” a social media marketing campaign (from @hofhheinz). … New uniforms for France’s women’s rugby team (from Josh Gardner).

194 comments to A Modest Proposal

  • Todd | July 26, 2017 at 7:24 am |

    or remove the “s” and be the Atlanta Brave. Team names without S’s are all the rage right now and it sounds better to me than the Atlanta Bravest.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 7:34 am |

      Too similar to Braves — just a singular of the existing plural. “Bravest” is more transformative — adds a syllable, changes the meaning.

      • Todd | July 26, 2017 at 7:50 am |

        I guess when I hear “brave” I hear an adjective, not the singular of braves. Kind of like the movie of the same name. Obviously the imagery would play a huge role in any change.

        But also, Bravest is a nickname for FDNY. I don’t have a good feeling taking that and giving it to a team from Atlanta due purely on history.
        http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fdny-bravest-nickname-article-1.2195970

        • DJ | July 26, 2017 at 7:56 am |

          “Bravest” has been applied to fire departments of many cities, not just New York.

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 7:57 am |

          I guess when I hear “brave” I hear an adjective, not the singular of braves.

          Oh, for sure, it is an adjective. But it feels too close, not transformative enough (at least for me).

          “Bravest” is not exclusive to NYC, incidentally. In fact, Atlanta has an event called “Breakfast with Our Bravest”:
          https://www.facebook.com/events/1158681720858297/

        • Todd | July 26, 2017 at 8:19 am |

          Atlanta’s fire department even has “bravest” on their website, so I will accept that.

    • Ran isaacs | July 26, 2017 at 8:01 am |

      I thought the same thing, remove the S. As in, “home of the brave” from the Star spangled banner. The colors are right, and by playing up the America aspect they could once again try to claim the moniker “America’s Team.”

      • Peter | July 26, 2017 at 8:14 am |

        …there would be some kind of irony there if they had a hockey team called the Flames…

    • Rick M | July 26, 2017 at 12:12 pm |

      This very idea was floated 20-some odd years ago. The idea was to change the name to the “Atlanta Brave” and go with a red-white-and blue themed team, and go heavily with the military imagery on it. I don’t remember who wrote the article, but it was a LONG time ago.

  • Random reader | July 26, 2017 at 7:29 am |

    That’s Manchester City, not Manchester United, with the new away kit.

    Also, all WNBA games are color on color, they got rid of home whites not too long ago.

    Also there’s some funky stuff with the hyperlink and html for the link to the new Pacers court.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 7:35 am |

      All fixed.

  • Brad Susany | July 26, 2017 at 7:37 am |

    Perdue pete? Or Purdue pete? Not sure myself .. but I know the college is spelled with a ‘u’ ..

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 7:42 am |

      Fixed.

      Brad! Haven’t seen your name here in a while. Good to hear from you!

      • Brad Susany | July 26, 2017 at 8:51 am |

        Hey buddy… been reading, just have been quiet… still one of my everyday reads!!! always a pleasure!

  • Mike | July 26, 2017 at 7:52 am |

    That Braves logo at the top is begging to be reworked using fireman’s axes.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 7:57 am |

      Holy shit, I didn’t even think of that. Y-E-S!

    • Shane | July 26, 2017 at 8:10 am |

      I had to look at that logo a few times because I thought it’d been photoshopped into fire axes at first.

    • Matt M. | July 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm |

      And make them into bats at the bottom!

    • Munch Suchland | July 26, 2017 at 1:45 pm |

      Can someone mock this up?! Sounds too good to not see it done.

    • walter | July 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm |

      The tomahawk is my favorite element of Atlanta’s uniform. But an axe would look great in its place, and is a crafty way of referencing the current jersey.

      • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm |

        I really should have thought of that — a firefighter’s axe replacing the tomahawk. Perfect!

        • Chris | July 26, 2017 at 8:25 pm |

          A while back I actually tried to look up to is if the US army issued axes or tomahawks to soldiers thinking that they could take the military theme to the extreme. Keep the Braves name but rebrand using full modern military motif instead of Native American. Thought of taking it back to the Revolutionary War came to mind as a throw back to their origins in Boston, but then the Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot” came to mind and that turned me off.

  • Nathan | July 26, 2017 at 8:10 am |

    RE: Braves –> Bravest
    The Peoria Chiefs (Midwest League, Single A, St. Louis Cardinals) have gone from a headdress-wearing baseball to a feather-wearing cardinal, then to a firefighter dalmatian when their affiliation switched from St. Louis to the Cubs. They have now switched back to St. Louis, but kept the firefighter dalmatian with slight changes. It’s also an interesting case of using the same name and very similar – but not identical – logos even as affiliation and mascot changed.

    http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/list_by_team/2598/Peoria_Chiefs/

    • Tom | July 26, 2017 at 8:58 am |

      Just popped in to see if anyone mentioned Peoria. That was a clever way to keep a long established team name and make the mascot a lot more minor-league family friendly.

      Also in Peoria are the Bradley Braves. All the Native American iconography was scrapped in the 90’s, but the name stayed. After a period with a much ridiculed bobcat mascot running around at sporting events (which ended when the bobcat head went missing), the university went with no mascot for a long time. A few years back they began using a gargoyle, which has gained some traction. While I know folks who pine for the days of tomahawk wielding Brad E. Lee, it’s good to know most folks are okay with progressing to a mascot that does not denigrate an entire group of fellow humans.

    • Adam JK | July 26, 2017 at 9:44 am |

      Similarly, the Syracuse Chiefs have de-emphasized the Native American elements in their logo and have kind of re-purposed “Chief” to be a train conductor.

    • Andy | July 26, 2017 at 9:51 am |

      I had that same thought! I noticed that when I attended a Chiefs game a few years back.

  • Shane | July 26, 2017 at 8:13 am |

    Bravest makes the inevitable typos that much better. “Barvest”.

  • Mole | July 26, 2017 at 8:15 am |

    I mean, Atlanta doesn’t exactly have the best record when it comes to fighting fires.

    • Dumb Guy | July 26, 2017 at 9:04 am |

      ouch

    • Chris Weber | July 26, 2017 at 10:20 am |

      … I was waiting for this. You win the internet today, Mole. -C.

  • John | July 26, 2017 at 8:20 am |

    Ugh, classic Cowboys-Giants matchup and Dallas will be mono-chrome navy. Color Rush is insane and sucks.

    • Chris | July 26, 2017 at 9:28 am |

      probably will be on SNF too

  • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 8:31 am |

    As the son of a firefighter, I think calling any sports team “Bravest” would be an insult to those who actually do show bravery in their jobs. I get similarly annoyed when people throw the word “hero” around in reference to athletes.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 8:41 am |

      Fair critique.

      Jon, do you also appose the use of camouflage-themed sports uniforms, for the same underlying reason? (Not playing gotcha, just curious.)

      • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 9:21 am |

        I’m ok with the camouflage as long as they don’t display any specific earned military insignia, for example the anchor globe and eagle of the USMC. In my book, wearing things like that is stolen valor. You have to earn the right to wear them.

        And I’m ok with firefighter imagery as well. Axes, halogens, fire helmets, it’s all good. The Peoria Chiefs mentioned elsewhere in the thread is a great example.

        But “Bravest” is a superlative. It’s the word itself that rubs me the wrong way.

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:31 am |

          Thanks for the explainer, Jon — appreciated.

      • ThePonchat | July 26, 2017 at 9:33 am |

        I am not Jon, but I feel the same for camo uniforms. I cannot stand them. Armed servicemen (and women) are the ones who deserve to wear the camo. If someone else wants to wear camo, join and protect the country. I have never served, often wish I would have joined; but, I am the grandson of a veteran, nephew of a veteran, and numerous cousins who are all serving right now.

        • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 9:59 am |

          I’m fine with the camo itself. To me, it’s just a color pattern. Like plaid. Now, whether it’s aesthetically pleasing on a baseball uniform is a whole nother discussion. ;)

    • Rich P | July 26, 2017 at 9:49 am |

      Respectfully, I feel like no matter what someone will be or wants to be offended over everything. I can’t see where this will possibly end. OF COURSE baseball players aren’t as brave as someone who risks their lives for others everyday, but if people want to get offended over honoring firemen than I have to conclude they want to be offended over anything the sake of being able to say they’re offended.

      • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 10:15 am |

        Rich, you’re taking my usual spot on the roster today. ;)

  • Matches | July 26, 2017 at 8:34 am |

    What would be the purpose of keeping the root word of the team name the same? You set out to change the meaning of the name of the team to something else. Particularly to something awkward-sounding and bush league like Bravest or Brave? What is gained?

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 8:41 am |

      The purpose would be to offer an olive branch to local fans, to make the change less wrenching.

      • Matches | July 26, 2017 at 10:01 am |

        Might be seen that way. I think the similarity in the names would result in lots of people just accidentally saying “Braves”.

      • Chris from Tampa | July 26, 2017 at 11:07 am |

        Wouldn’t it be up to the aggrieved people to determine whether this compromise is acceptable? As white guys, I don’t think you and I are in a position to legitimately opine on that. Quite frankly, when it comes to this going far enough, our opinions don’t count, if the concept is to remove this level of cultural appropriation and insult.

  • Bsuorangecrush | July 26, 2017 at 8:39 am |

    North Dakota State has boxes for the yard markers on the new turf because that is a practice field. They play in the Fargodome.

    • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 8:42 am |

      Fargodome sounds like a place where Minnesota criminals fight to the death.

      • Anthony Verna | July 26, 2017 at 10:05 am |

        “So, uh, is that the opposing cornerback in the woodchipper?”

    • Dan J | July 26, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

      So, essentially, this practice field is…beyond Fargodome.

      • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 12:20 pm |

        Hey, c’mon now. We don’t need another hero.

  • Alex Poterack | July 26, 2017 at 8:40 am |

    Given the talk about how the noun “braves” is only ever used to refer to Native Americans, I wanted to mention that I’m 29 years old and I’ve ONLY ever heard the term used in reference to the team. If it weren’t for the Atlanta Braves, I would have no idea that “braves” referred to Native Americans.

    • Patrick G | July 26, 2017 at 9:13 am |

      Same for me, and I am 35. Braves has only meant a baseball team to me. Strip the Native American stuff that goes along with it and you are good to go, won’t take long for a pivot and you don’t even need to change the name.

      Look at Golden State!! At some point in history Warriors referred to Native Americans. They stripped the imagery (granted a while ago), but the same idea. I bet a majority of younger people have zero association of Warriors to Native Americans.

      • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:30 am |

        Look at Golden State!! At some point in history Warriors referred to Native Americans. They stripped the imagery (granted a while ago), but the same idea. I bet a majority of younger people have zero association of Warriors to Native Americans.

        Yeah, but the word “warriors” has meaning that goes way beyond Native Americans, so that was an easy pivot.

        “Brave” (as a noun) does not.

        • Patrick G | July 26, 2017 at 10:01 am |

          Fair point. I still think there is some grey area though where you can repurpose it like the Warriors (where there is no grey area for the Indians). I just have only associated a Brave as a baseball player, never as a Native American.

          This is what the spectrum of pivotability looks like in my head: Warriors – Chiefs – Braves – Indians

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 10:02 am |

          I love the term “spectrum of pivotability”!

        • Jim U. | July 26, 2017 at 10:16 am |

          When Marquette changed their names from the Warriors to the Golden Eagles in ’94, I thought that they could have kept the name and just dropped the Native American imagery. They could have done some generic Greek or Roman soldier motif and called it a day. To me, there’s really nothing that ties the term warrior with Native American culture.

        • Chris L | July 26, 2017 at 3:57 pm |

          Yes! I always thought it strange that we have the Joan of Arc chapel on campus yet nobody thought about pivoting warrior to some non native mascot. The first thought I had when reading this piece was what others have mentioned: pivot to a home of the brave motif and drop the s.

        • Jim Vilk | July 26, 2017 at 12:22 pm |

          Another name that goes beyond Native American usage is the Tribe, which I hope will go from Cleveland’s unofficial to official name.

          As for Atlanta, just go back to what the franchise used in Boston: the Bees. You now play in the same city as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…a nice pairing, no?

        • Amos Willingham | July 26, 2017 at 3:50 pm |

          Yeah, no. I don’t think anybody in Atlanta wants anything to do with Boston culture or history. Besides, Georgia Tech is way behind UGA in terms or statewide fandom. I doubt Bees would ever even be considered by higher ups.

        • walter | July 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm |

          No pivotability for the Indians? Au contraire, mon frere! Contemplate a league where the teams are named after mighty oceans: The Indians would come right after the Atlantics and Pacifics. It’s a stretch, but I live for such things.

  • Kellen | July 26, 2017 at 8:46 am |

    Growing up–and hell, even now–I only associate(d) “braves” with Native Americans BECAUSE of sports teams. I think re-positioning what it means could work in less time than 20 years.

    • Derek | July 26, 2017 at 9:04 am |

      Yeah I agree here. The baseball team, and I’m sure various small colleges and high/middle schools, are likely the only reason most people associate the word with Native American imagery at all. Changing that imagery could certainly change the perception of the word. Just like relatively abstract names that don’t line up with the team imagery like Clippers, Lakers, Blazers, etc. How many people actually know what those names really represent? Simply take the tomahawk off the logos and stop playing the “chop” song over the PA and in no time “Braves” will only mean “baseball team from Atlanta”.

    • Dan in LA | July 26, 2017 at 9:13 am |

      Growing up, I didn’t associate the word “Warrior” with Native Americans only until I saw sports teams imagery. To me, a warrior can be of any nationality or ethnic group. When the word/name is ambiguous, the imagery can define the meaning.

      Marquette changed to the Golden Eagles, but Golden State is still the Warriors. It seems like everyone is OK with the Golden State Warriors when the logo is the Bridge.

      • KO | July 26, 2017 at 11:07 am |

        this is the same thought i had. I know the origin of the Golden State Warriors, because i’m a little older and i like sports history. but I doubt most 20 year olds would associate the Warriors with Native Americans, because the imagery hasn’t been associated with the team since the 60’s. take away the tomahawk and the chop, soon people will forget. and even though I hate the Braves as a Mets fan, I do think their cream colored alternates are one of the nicest uniforms in baseball (no tomahawk on the front of those either). great hat too.

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 11:10 am |

          Except, as I’ve said several times now, the word “warrior” has meanings in our culture that go way beyond Native Americans, so that’s an easy pivot.

          “Brave” (as a noun) does not.

        • KO | July 26, 2017 at 11:39 am |

          i don’t know, i bet at the time the pivot for the warriors wasn’t as quick either. in 1970, its not like everyone immediately thought “well they aren’t THOSE kind of warriors anymore”. However, I do think it would be a lot harder for the braves because they’ve had that name forever, through 3 different cities. too much history to change people’s perceptions within 5-10 years. so yes, the much quicker fix would be to just change the name.

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 11:44 am |

          in 1970, its not like everyone immediately thought “well they aren’t THOSE kind of warriors anymore”.

          No, but the word “warriors” has always had non-Native meanings, even in sports. NFL Films would describe players as “warriors”; boxer Evander Holyfield loved being called (and eventually started calling himself) a “warrior”; and so on. It’s an all-purpose word for a stalwart on the battlefield.

          “Brave” (as a noun) is not an all-purpose word. It refers to Native Americans.

        • KO | July 26, 2017 at 12:10 pm |

          i don’t dispute that Brave as a noun is mostly defined as a Native American. Its not the first definition in the dictionary, but i’ll admit that if you were to refer to someone as a Brave, the first thing that would pop into my head would be a Native American with traditional face paint and headdress. But I do think your friend is on to something with changing the perception of the word. or maybe we aren’t realistic enough.

    • Eltee of DC | July 26, 2017 at 3:35 pm |

      Kellen,

      Well said – hitting the NAIL on the proverbial HEAD!

      Knowledge of basic ‘Murrican history would definitely alter the conversation. Gotta own it before you can change it.

      Major League Baseball “uni-formally” speaking matches it’s history, a very conservative operation that moves incrementally if at all, then an explosion of change. Most of these changes were for the good indeed (the now ubiquitous Astros tequila sunrise Uni destroying the drab color barrier and the Dodgers doing their bit too.

      I see no issue with removing the tomahawk from what is now a classic uni (home only, road unis need professional help), the design will still hold up very well indeed.

      Having said all this, it never occurred to me to think of a Braves(t) typo-logical change. Clever. This is what happens when savvy sports peeps meet up. Which leads me to the next question – When is the next Uni Watch road show event?

      D.C’s a good place to start (hint)

  • Yancey | July 26, 2017 at 8:50 am |

    About a decade ago Carthage College changed their name from Redmen meaning Native Americans to Red Men (kool aid man?). Thought that was pretty clever.

  • BurghFan | July 26, 2017 at 8:58 am |

    Proofreading:
    “actually can defined”
    “The font is also brutal, but we’ll save that analysis, but that’s another matter.”
    “to created mock-ups”
    “I kelly (or kelly-ish) available”
    “Cedar Rapids Kernals” Kernels
    “A kid in Edmonton used colored makers” markers

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:08 am |

      Thanks, Jerry. All fixed.

  • Johnny O | July 26, 2017 at 8:59 am |

    I think the “Atlanta Brave” is a wonderful choice. I automatically think of our national anthem’s final line, “…and the home, of the, brave!”

    When I was a very young child, I didn’t like singing the final line of the anthem because I thought it was referring to the Atlanta Braves. “Why do they get to be in the song? And THIS isn’t their home! It’s in Atlanta!” Oh to be young again.

  • Matt Blinco | July 26, 2017 at 9:06 am |

    I don’t know if Atlanta Bravest has a good ring to it, may have to be Atlanta’s Bravest, so first team ever with a name where the team’s city has an apostrophe.

    Also maybe a uni redesign contest in the works??

  • Derek | July 26, 2017 at 9:09 am |

    Sidebar on the Braves name thought: They *should* have stopped being the Braves when they moved from Boston to Milwaukee. If I ever run for national public office one of my policies will be pushing to make it illegal for teams (especially those who take public funds to build stadiums, which is almost all of them) to take a nickname, colors or any branding with them when they move to another city. Basically a Ravens type situation should be the norm, everything that isn’t a player or staff member stays in the city you’re leaving. Losing a team is bad enough. But having to see *your* team cavort about in some other city is even worse.

    • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 10:24 am |

      You’ve got my vote, Derek!

    • DenverGregg | July 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm |

      Colors may be taking it a tad too far. When the Expos went south, they couldn’t wear red or blue any more?

      • Peter | July 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm |

        “But having to see *your* team cavort about in some other city is even worse.”

        It’s not “your” team.
        It’s actually someones private business.
        If you owned a business, and you decided to pack up and leave, who am I (or anyone) to tell you you HAVE to leave your name / brand / colors behind.

        Stop thinking like a fan who is entitled to something that is not actually yours.

    • Ferdinand Cesarano | July 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm |

      That’s so wrong that it’s off the scale of wrongness. Teams that move should be encouraged to keep the same name in almost all cases.

      There are a few instances where names were changed because the old name did not fit the new location (Washington Senators –> Minnesota Twins; Colorado Rockies –> New Jersey Devils) or because an existing name was waiting to be applied to a Major League team (St. Louis Browns –> Baltimore Orioles; Seattle Pilots –> Milwaukee Brewers).

      But the teams who did moves in the best possible way are the Braves, A’s, Dodgers, Giants, Rams, Raiders, and any others who kept the same name and all the same visual elements upon the move, changing only the locality.

      The point here is that all intellectually honest people have the obligation to acknowledge historical facts. And one of these facts is that the original Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, and a new expansion Cleveland Browns team was created. (Precisely analogous to the original Washington Senators team moving to Minnesota, and a new expansion Washington Senators team having been created.) But the NFL decided to play “let’s pretend” with the facts of history, and to pollute its record books with the fiction that the original Browns and the expansion Browns are the same franchise. This is fake news from before we had fake news.

      Since then, this toxic precedent has been followed by the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS — the original team moved to Houston, and a new expansion team took its place; though the league presents a fictional history of one continuous team in San Jose. Even worse is the convoluted mess that the NBA created out of the histories of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets franchise and the Charlotte Bobcats franchise when the former changed its name to Pelicans and the latter changed its name to Hornets.

      The only latter-day move that was handled correctly was the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg to become the second iteration of the Jets. The NHL correctly keeps the the records straight, and recognises the Winnipeg Jets / Phoenix Coyotes / Arizona Coyotes as one franchise, and the Atlanta Thrashers / Winnipeg Jets as another franchise.

      History matters; we don’t have to look far in our current moment of crisis to see what happens when people begin losing their grasp on objective reality. And, in sports, the application of the idea that history matters is the practice of keeping franchise lineages straight.

      • Bruce Richards | July 26, 2017 at 2:04 pm |

        [i]”There are a few instances where names were changed because the old name did not fit the new location”

        “But the teams who did moves in the best possible way are the Braves, A’s, Dodgers, Giants, Rams, Raiders, and any others who kept the same name and all the same visual elements upon the move, changing only the locality.”[/i]

        Then are the teams who DID keep their name but SHOULD HAVE changed their name because the old name did not fit the new location: most notably Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz. The short lived Tennessee Oilers and the Jacksonville Tea Men of the old NASL were also a couple of gems in that regard…

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 2:09 pm |

          Then are the teams who DID keep their name but SHOULD HAVE changed their name because the old name did not fit the new location: most notably Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz.

          Uni Watch bylaw 173 requires me to mention here that when I was a kid, I didn’t realize the Lakers had once been located in Minneapolis, and “Lakers” made perfect sense to me because I thought it was some sort of “LA”-based slang — “LAkers.” Still works fine, at least for me.

      • JP | July 26, 2017 at 11:51 pm |

        New expansion franchise Washington Senators… not expansion. They just ignore all the Expos history…

        Terrible

        Remember 1994 always.

  • Jeff B | July 26, 2017 at 9:14 am |

    All I know is that if I was a Redskins or Braves fan and you changed the name of the team, I would make or buy a “I’m still calling them” shirt with the original name.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:28 am |

      Nothing wrong with that. All part of the public dialogue.

  • MotorCityJeff | July 26, 2017 at 9:14 am |
    • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 9:46 am |

      So ugly. But, as I said in my reply to Rovell’s tweet about the ads, greed is ugly. #NoUniAds!

    • Eric Romain | July 26, 2017 at 1:20 pm |

      I’m always happy to find another reason to not attend a Pistons game.

      • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm |

        Oh, Tom Gores continues to find new ways to piss off his team’s fan base.

        For example, season ticket prices for the Pistons at LCA have been significantly jacked up. My cousin had mid-lower bowl end corner seats at the Palace last year; the equivalent seats at the LCA will be roughly TWICE as much. And as a bonus shot to the nuts, Pistons season-ticket holders who enjoyed the perk of free parking at the Palace will get no such luxury downtown, where it’ll be $30 per event, twice what the Palace parking cost to non-season ticket holders.

    • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 2:04 pm |

      So, yeah, they had a press conference about this, and tried to make it all noble by having the advertising bank announce their partnership with the team in community endeavors. Which is fine in and of itself if that were the extent of it. Trying to pass themselves off as “jersey partners”, though, is sickening. It’s an ad patch, and as I’ve already stated, an ugly one at that.

  • Wade Heidt | July 26, 2017 at 9:15 am |

    I am relieved after seeing photos of the Schutt F7 football helmet with the decals on. I was really worried that the side decals would not work out after seeing the plain helmet without the decals when it was shown for the first time.

    • Dumb Guy | July 26, 2017 at 1:43 pm |

      Does the Bills giant logo still fit?
      can’t get a good look at it in that one photo.

  • Joe Hilseberg | July 26, 2017 at 9:18 am |

    Doesn’t not cutting the stripe on the new Schutt F7 helmet defeat the purpose of the flex panels? I would think it would hinder performance. Those stripes can be pretty thick and note very flexible.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:31 am |

      Helmet manufacturers have assured me that the panels can still flex, regardless of the tape. (I think the tape looks better if it’s cut, but that’s a separate issue.)

      • M.Princip | July 26, 2017 at 2:11 pm |

        Speaking of the decals on these F7s, I have to say the NCAA teams are doing a better job of placement. I guess cutting at the seams does look better, although no biggie either way. What I do like is that the side decals are a little closer to the front top, even just over the upper side chin strap snap. Most of the NCAA teams are placing them there, although NFL equip teams are not taking the time to do that.
        Aside from the decals, the back serrated bumpers are all white for NFL teams. NCAA are mixed, black have white serration, white have black serration.

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 2:16 pm |

          You just wanted to say “serration” as much as possible! (And I don’t blame you.)

  • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 9:21 am |

    I still find it weird that while the Maple Leafs never used that particular version of the “scalloped” leaf on their game sweaters, it did pop up in merchandise, including jerseys such as those worn by the late Glenn Frey.

    And as I noted in the comments then, the Leafs did have something similar to that leaf (it may have actually been closer to the at centre ice at Maple Leaf Gardens, but with a white face-off dot instead of the Kabel-typeface wordmark. The centre ice logo looked closer in shape to the centennial leaf, though.

    • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 9:25 am |

      Ugh, I hate it when I change my mind on how I want a paragraph to read, but forget to delete what was already there before submitting. The first part of the second paragraph should read:

      And as I noted in the comments then, the Leafs did have something similar to that leaf at centre ice at Maple Leaf Gardens, but…

      *goes to get his overdue morning cuppa*

  • Greg | July 26, 2017 at 9:21 am |

    Have there been any studies on Native Americans’ opinion on the Braves name? I know the recent survey (by Washington Post I believe) found they really were not offended by the Redskins name. And if any name was going to be insulting I would think it would be that. I sometimes get the feeling that we are saying this is insulting to Native Americans, when a vast majority of the people who are supposed to be disparaged by it actually do not care. I was all for changing the Redskins name until I saw that poll. You have colleges that use local tribes names (Seminoles, Illini, etc) and the tribes support it. So long as you are not using a blatantly offensive caricatures (Wahoo), I am not sure I see the difference between the Atlanta Braves, using a Native American warrior, and the Minnesota Vikings using a Scandinavian pillager. If polls show Native Americans aren’t offended by it, why remove it?

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:26 am |

      Greg, as I have explained now for many, many years, my position on this stuff (and I’m speaking only for myself, obviously) has nothing to do with anyone being “insulted” or “offended.” It’s simply about cultural misappropriation — using something that doesn’t belong to you.

      “Vikings” is a completely different issue because — as I’ve also explained countless times — it’s an example of a culture celebrating *itself.* Minnesota was settled by Scandinavian immigrants.

      (Also: Vikings no longer exist. Also-also: Vikings are not a marginalized class [because they no longer exist] and were not the target of a near-genocidal program of ethnic cleansing that resulted in the theft of a continent.)

      I don’t want to relitigate all of those arguments here today. Let’s please stick to the Braves. Thanks.

      • Greg | July 26, 2017 at 12:06 pm |

        Thanks Paul. I suppose I got a little off topic. I was just curious if you had seen any polls regarding how Native Americans perceive the name Braves in particular, and the use of Native American imagery associated with it?
        To your point on cultural appropriation, I agree with you, if it is not approved by people of said culture who it is supposedly honoring, it shouldn’t be used.
        I simply see conflicting information on whether or not Native Americans support the use of various team names and logos. If there is a wide spread sentiment among Native Americans that is appropriation then it needs to go.

    • DJ | July 26, 2017 at 11:39 am |

      The name “Illini” did not refer to the Illinois tribe; if it had, the NCAA would have forced U of I to drop it along with the Chief Illiniwek logo and costumed performer. They were able to convince the NCAA that the name referred to citizens of Illinois who fought in the War to End War.

  • art | July 26, 2017 at 9:34 am |

    If SU was able to switch their mascot from a frat boy in a racist costume to a piece of anthropomorphic citrus fruit without changing their name, there’s no reason Atlanta can’t.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:44 am |

      Except, again, the word “orange” has multiple meanings in our culture.

      “Brave” (as a noun) does not.

      (This is one of the more literal cases of apples vs. oranges.)

    • Chris from Tampa | July 26, 2017 at 11:18 am |

      I think he’s agreeing with you with regard to all team names derived from indigenous peoples.

    • Shaftman | July 26, 2017 at 11:19 am |

      Assuming you’re referring to Syracuse University, they actually did change mascots at one point.

      ” 1978 members of a Native American student organization headed a protest against using the Saltine Warrior as an athletic mascot. Onondagan Chief Oren Lyons, a 1958 alumnus and former SU lacrosse star, explained that it’s “all in the presentation…The thing that offended me when I was there was that guy running around like a nut. That’s derogatory” (Daily Orange, March 23, 1976). The Saltine Warrior was subsequently “sidelined” and a contest for a successor ensued (Daily Orange, February 12, 1978).”

      Full text here

  • Rich P | July 26, 2017 at 9:44 am |

    Full disclosure: Indians fan,OK with NA imagery/names for sporting teams if done tastefully…(so yeah, I am coming to grips that Wahoo needs to go, since it’s not tasteful at all, whereas I see Braves as tasteful, it’s not like they’re named the Atlanta Savages)

    For those who aren’t though, does it stop at Native Americans? If so, why not Celtics? Fighting Irish? Vikings? Texans? Is it because they’re European/white? I am not trying to be prejorative towards people’s dislike for names of teams based NA’s or anything, but just believe the dislike should extend to all people/groups being used in sports.

    Fundamentally, if it’s wrong in one place, it’s wrong in all the places it’s used, in my opinion.

    I am cool with everyone’s opinion, and hope that others are cool with mine, however I find a lot of times it’s forgotten in this PC world that the other side’s views are dismissed as offensive,dated, insensitive when I or someone else could easily say that the PC side is making a big deal out of not that big of an issue, or that they’re being overly-sensitive.

    Anyways, that’s all I got. Have a good day, all.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:50 am |

      does it stop at Native Americans? If so, why not Celtics? Fighting Irish? Vikings? Texans?

      Examples of a culture celebrating itself, not misappropriating someone else’s culture. We’ve been through this literally hundreds of times. Let’s please move on. Thanks.

      • Rich P | July 26, 2017 at 10:06 am |

        Essentially it’s OK to honor yourselves (Vikings,Texans) but honoring others is Bad? Let’s be frank, nobody is naming their team after NA’s or Other groups to mock them, that’s sort of self-defeating in itself.

        So in this day and age where it’s basically “celebrate everyone” (Military,Cancer Survivors,Hispanic culture, Police,Fire, etc)this flies in direct opposition, “don’t celebrate others, only celebrate yourselves”.

        Respectfully, that just doesn’t wash at all with me.

        Not trying to stir shit, but couldn’t leave that one where it was.

        • Joe | July 26, 2017 at 10:30 am |

          You’re missing Paul’s point. There’s a difference between celebrating your own culture or heritage and *appropriating* someone else’s–in other words, if it’s not your own culture, you don’t have the privilege of “celebrating” it with costumery, iconography, etc. When a caucasian paints his face and wears a headdress, he’s using someone else’s cultural traditions for a purpose other than what that culture intended, no matter how sincerely he may have intended to “honor” that culture. That’s misappropriation.

      • Chris from Tampa | July 26, 2017 at 11:09 am |

        The Texas Rangers (not the baseball team) were known for slaughtering indigenous peoples. Would they not fall under the same area of, as commissioner Goodell said, having that conversation?

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 11:12 am |

          Not a case of cultural misappropriation.

          If you think it’s a case of an inappropriate group to be celebrating — a group not worthy of celebration — that’s an entirely different discussion. Feel free to pursue it if you think it’s a valid point of view.

        • walter | July 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm |

          Teams called the Crusaders have to deal with this very issue.

        • JP | July 26, 2017 at 11:56 pm |

          I work in a school district with a Reivers (land pirates) and they play in a league with Crusaders and Clansmen (Scottish history not KKK). Not good imagery either real or imagined.

          But many here have same circular arguments that if one is bad then all. Have to go.

          Paul. Wicked thread that you have started here. I’ve shared some of your ideas with the high school kids I used to teach. Love it.

  • Jerry | July 26, 2017 at 9:46 am |

    Absolutely enjoy and appreciate this website. Visit it everyday. However, I often cringe and roll my eyes every time I see this talk about changing native american names and logos. Wish we could all move on from this. Unfortunately it points to the overwhelming trend of always being offended about SOMETHING. Imagine a society that didn’t constantly get offended over anything and everything.

    Anyhow, still love the website nonetheless.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 9:51 am |

      Wish we could all move on from this.

      My thoughts exactly. All it will take is for teams to stop using Native American iconography.

      See, it works both ways. ;)

      • Jerry | July 26, 2017 at 10:05 am |

        I hear ya. I just don’t think that just because a group of people get offended over something, a company needs to automatically change it’s name or logo. Especially via government intervention. Let the Free Market sort it out. If it’s truly that big of an issue, people will stop supporting it, effectively forcing said company to change it’s way if it desires to stay profitable.

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 10:25 am |

          Ah, the myth of the free market. An illusion, of course, but a comforting one.

          In any case, Jerry, nobody here is advocating for any government action on this front, nor have I ever advocated for such action.

        • Anonymous | July 26, 2017 at 12:29 pm |

          Native Americans make up only about 2% of our country’s population, so even if every single native american spoke up in protest it wouldn’t have much effect on the quote “free market”.

    • A.G. | July 26, 2017 at 11:01 am |

      Jerry,
      I think you’re misrepresenting the argument against these names. You keep using the word “offended” and trotting out the “people these days are offended by everything” nonsense, while Paul (and others) have presented more nuanced arguments that go much deeper than people being “offended.” Ironically, your reaction to all of this could easily be described as “offended.”
      I’m not personally “offended” by these names, but the argument against them is far more compelling than the one for them, which generally falls somewhere between “You can’t change it, it’s been that way for __ years” and “why is everybody trying to be so PC?” It’s more about acknowledging that if something doesn’t make sense, or seems wrong or less than respectful, then it really shouldn’t be a big deal to change it. We can do better.

      • Lee | July 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm |

        Frankly, I do not remember an argument for keeping Indian names/imagery that didn’t include one or both of your examples:
        “You can’t change it, it’s been that way for __ years” and “why is everybody trying to be so PC?”.

        Can anyone point to additional arguments in favor of keeping the names/images?

        Lee

        • Aaron | July 26, 2017 at 3:55 pm |

          I can quickly think of “We’re honoring (insert group here) by naming our teams after them.”

          The argument falls apart pretty quickly, but it is at least another angle.

  • Mike Engle on iPhone | July 26, 2017 at 9:48 am |

    Great Neck South High School (Great Neck, NY) was and is the Rebels and used to have Confederate iconography. I’m told they used to have a Stars and Bars in the basketball gym. Administration did a clean break and tried to rebrand as the Penguins, but that didn’t work. The Rebels name got reinstated once a history teacher found an obscure reference to Revolutionary War rebels — not loyalists. So it might take perfect circumstances, but rebranding around an old name can work well.

  • Sealsfan | July 26, 2017 at 9:50 am |

    I’ve always seen those “scalloped” Leafs used on the Doug Laurie Sportswear jerseys:

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-1970s-toronto-maple-leafs-400965403

    The Frey jersey is probably one…. I believe there was a Doug Laurie store at MLG, so he probably received it when The Eagles played there….

  • StLMarty | July 26, 2017 at 9:52 am |

    I’m staunchly against names that don’t end in an S at the pro level. I’m fine with it in college because the name of the school is dominant. I say the Cardinal are playing the Cubs… not St. Louis is playing Chicago. I say Missouri is playing Auburn… not the Tigers are playing the Tigers.
    God bless the Marlins for mis-pluralizing marlin.

    I’m still trying to sort it all out, but I’ve spent most of my life thinking this…

    Indians and Redskins = Bad
    Chiefs, Braves, Warriors (all sans imagery) = OK

    I’m not completely convinced though

  • James Gilbert | July 26, 2017 at 9:59 am |

    My first thought when relaying your conversation is what King County, WA did when they redefined after whom their county was named.

    I could see dropping the ‘s’, but it would sound more like a soccer team like the North Carolina Courage.

  • Marcus | July 26, 2017 at 10:01 am |

    I participated in the Lightning’s survey right after the franchise texted me the link. I told the club that I preferred a black alt with silver on it. I also told the Bolts that I wanted to see silver return to its other two uniforms as well.

  • Cork Gaines | July 26, 2017 at 10:04 am |

    FWIW, the Rays sort of “repositioned” their name when the new ownership group introduced new uniforms in 2008. While the team went from “Devil Rays” to just “Rays,” the team also changed the meaning of “Rays,” going from the cartilaginous fish to Rays of sunshine. The team still uses a Ray-fish patch on the sleeve and still has a fish tank in the outfield filled with cownose rays, but that is more of a shout-out to the team’s origin than any official recognition of what “Rays” represents. Of course, there is some irony of a team named after sunshine playing in a dome, but that’s another matter.

    Here is what the team president said when the new uniforms were introduced: “We’re no longer the bottom feeding fish…We’re much more about the energy of the sun.”

    • DenverGregg | July 26, 2017 at 10:34 am |

      IIRC one of the groups competing to get a team for the 1993 expansion called itself the Tampa Bay Sun Rays.

      • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 11:42 am |

        Ironically, they play in the one park in all of MLB that never sees one sliver of sunshine.

  • Jerry | July 26, 2017 at 10:11 am |

    I’m not on board with the Braves name meaning change. We’ve been down this road before. The Native American team names are just fine with me. Yes, I even like Chief Wahoo. I think we’ve seen and heard how most people with Native American blood aren’t bothered by these things. My own brother in law who is something like 25 or 35% Native American, gets a kick out of the team names. He isn’t offended at all.
    His house even has a large American flag with a Native American image superimposed over it hanging in the living room. The point of their flag is that they love their country but they honor their Native American roots.

  • Manuel | July 26, 2017 at 10:13 am |

    There is nothing wrong with the name Braves or Indian imagery unless there is obviously offensive elements. Wahoo and the screaming brave are obviously offensive. A tomahawk is not.

  • PT | July 26, 2017 at 10:20 am |

    Lol the North Dakota State field turf is Dacotah Field and they haven’t played a game on it since 1992. The soccer team plays there as of 2014 and it’s rarely used as a football practice facility. Basically never. They play in a dome called the Fargodome.

  • Scott Criscuolo | July 26, 2017 at 10:32 am |

    That whole story about Clevinger changing his glove is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. His glove was dark gray, it wasn’t white. Changing a pitcher’s glove isn’t going to move the Angels out of mediocrity. It’s like when Oil Can Boyd had to tape his chains down during the 1986 World Series (and I’m a Mets fan). We knocked him around with or without his chains. :)

  • Jason Greening | July 26, 2017 at 10:39 am |

    Is it possible that the Seau jersey was a practice jersey, maybe?

    • teenchy | July 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm |

      The Seau jersey is neither a gamer nor a practice jersey, but a fan jersey that was sold to the public in 2000. I have one identical to it that I bought at the gift shop at Qualcomm Stadium while I was San Diego on a business trip (no photo at the moment, unfortunately). I don’t think it’s an exact replica of any jersey the Chargers wore during Seau’s tenure with the team, but I’m sure someone here can confirm either way.

  • Manuel | July 26, 2017 at 10:42 am |

    I think the Seau jersey may have faded in the sun.

  • Clarybird | July 26, 2017 at 10:46 am |

    “The President of the University of Northern Iowa threw out the first pitch at a recent Cedar Rapids Kerneedmontls game while wearing a softball jersey.”

    I still call ’em the Kernels.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 10:55 am |

      Not sure what happened there. Fixed!

  • Chris Weber | July 26, 2017 at 10:46 am |

    Question for the masses:

    What team names do you think are “missed opportunities” — names underused or not used at all — in sports?

    I can think of two: “Northern” would be a terrific name for a franchise in areas where Northern Pike are prized game. And “Gilas” would be unique for a team that plays in the southwest. Basically, I always wished the Minnesota Wild had called themselves the Minnesota Northern and the Arizona Diamondbacks had gone with Arizona Gilas.

    Any other examples you can think of?

    -C.

    • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 11:50 am |

      The British Elite Ice Hockey League’s Nottingham Panthers should have been called the Nottingham Sherriffs. Also, their horrible logo is reminiscent of the Beast of New Haven.

    • walter | July 26, 2017 at 2:52 pm |

      Underused: Thunderbolts. Unused: Meteors.

  • Rich P | July 26, 2017 at 11:00 am |

    for some reason couldn’t reply to Joe…..

    “You’re missing Paul’s point. There’s a difference between celebrating your own culture or heritage and *appropriating* someone else’s—in other words, if it’s not your own culture, you don’t have the privilege of “celebrating” it with costumery, iconography, etc. When a caucasian paints his face and wears a headdress, he’s using someone else’s cultural traditions for a purpose other than what that culture intended, no matter how sincerely he may have intended to “honor” that culture. That’s misappropriation”

    Fair…But Notre Dame was named using a French term by a Frenchmen so they’re misappropriating Irish imagery and I highly doubt the Minnesota Vikings was started by a Scandnavian so there’s two examples of misappropriation that nobody cares about.

    All circling back to my main point, if it’s not good to use one culture for your own shits and giggles, it’s not good to use anyone’s culture for your own shits and giggles…and it’s this inconsistency that is maddening – not to mention that misappropriation basically has been done in every avenue of life for a long long time…music, art, food, etc. but heaven forbid you use it as a way of exuding bravery,strength, fight, all adjectives used to describe Native Americans which line up quite similarly to the ideals we want our sports teams to have.

    • Rich P | July 26, 2017 at 11:03 am |

      if it’s not your own culture, you don’t have the privilege of “celebrating” it with costumery, iconography, etc

      Also, tell that to my daughter and son who love the movie Moana…no more using Maui’s costume with the tattoos on it, son!

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 11:03 am |

      heaven forbid you use it as a way of exuding bravery,strength, fight, all adjectives used to describe Native Americans which line up quite similarly to the ideals we want our sports teams to have.

      You make it sound like these teams are throwing a party to celebrate Native Americans, or running a foundation that honors them, etc.

      But none of that is happening. They’re just using someone else’s cultural heritage to sell shit. And in this case, the people whose heritage they’re using happen to be people who were the target of a near-genocidal program of ethnic cleansing that resulted in the theft of a continent. We can’t undo all of that damage, but maybe, just as a small gesture of decency, it would be nice not to use their heritage as a way of selling shit.

      That’s all.

      • Rich P | July 26, 2017 at 11:25 am |

        The naming of these teams PRE-DATE mass commercialization of selling merchandise. You’re stating with 100% conviction that they’re peddling these images strictly to make money, essentially whoring out the virtues that so many people hold as a GOOD THING.

        If “I” am making it sound like these teams are throwing parties for them, then it’s fair for to say “you’re” making it sound like every day before a game they’re selling bison furs and tipi’s and exploiting them for hobby.

        Again, I find all your points fair, I merely believe that the fight against Native American imagery should be spread across all heritages, and not just the ones that we should all feel “guilty” about.

        • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 11:34 am |

          The naming of these teams PRE-DATE mass commercialization of selling merchandise.

          I’m not talking about selling merchandise, Rich (at least not exclusively).

          I’m talking about selling tickets, selling TV rights, selling the image of the team itself. A team like the Braves uses Native imagery to sell itself, and always has, long before the days of mass merch. The team’s very identity is wrapped up in Native iconography.

  • Kevin | July 26, 2017 at 11:09 am |

    Image #27 of this gallery shows Seau wearing the 40th Anniversary Chargers jersey in 2000.

    Also: http://www.gridiron-uniforms.com/GUD/images/2000_SanDiego.png?6181

    http://www.gridiron-uniforms.com/GUD/weekly/2000/2000wk9.shtml

    Worn in 10/29/2000 Sunday Night Game against the Raiders.

    • Jason Greening | July 26, 2017 at 11:10 am |

      Maybe the shield logo over the collar is just missing?

      • Kevin | July 26, 2017 at 11:12 am |

        Probaby the replica.
        I bought one back then.

        • teenchy | July 26, 2017 at 5:37 pm |

          It is the replica. I bought one too. I didn’t scroll down to see your reply, and I apologize for that.

    • Kevin | July 26, 2017 at 11:10 am |
    • mpcincal | July 26, 2017 at 11:20 pm |

      The Seau jersey shown in that frame is a fashion jersey that was sold in apparel shops in the early 2000s. I know because I bought one back then and still have it. What’s strange about it is that it’s a powder-blue with the double borders on the square numbers, like it was with their regular navy jerseys, as opposed to the single yellow border that was on the throwbacks that Seau and teammates wore in the games. If it is (as I assume) the same jersey as I have, it’s essentially a powder-blue version of the navy top they wore through 2006, with the shoulder bolts directly on the blue, instead of inside the white stripes.

  • Jason Greening | July 26, 2017 at 11:09 am |

    FOUND THE RGIII ORIGINAL!

    http://uproxx.com/sports/who-will-robert-griffin-iii-sign-with-new-teams-free-agent/

    Uproxx article from summer 2016

  • Chris from Tampa | July 26, 2017 at 11:14 am |

    I guess with regard to the names Braves, Chiefs, and Warriors (most specifically), this approach seems to extend the barrier of cultural acceptability (or not) beyond the cartoonish appropriation of the culture (which I oppose) to the use of specific words themselves.

    If the word Braves is inappropriate absent any disrespectful appropriation, then it isn’t acceptable, whether it’s on a baseball jersey or used in the singular as an adjective. It seems like we’re moving the line from the imagery to the use of the word. It feels a little paternalistic to me.

    And I know this makes me an irredeemably racist schmuck, but I think that’s an overstep. Flame away.

  • tony | July 26, 2017 at 11:14 am |

    re: cavs uni

    bold move on their part dressing the dummy up in Kryie’s number 2.. most likely will be traded soon because he doesn’t like that he has to share the spotlight with Lebron

    • Kevin | July 26, 2017 at 7:02 pm |

      I’m assuming they made that a few days ago?

      Anyway, they’re not red – they’re wine. They do look quite red in that picture though.

  • Munch Suchland | July 26, 2017 at 11:32 am |

    Without reading through the comments, I want to get my thoughts down so I apologize if this has been brought up already.
    I don’t think I really think of Native Americans when I hear Braves. The only reason I do is because of the Atlanta Braves. I bet if I ask my kids what “the braves” are, they would think it was people who were brave. If the Braves kept the name, they could – could – change the way people think when they hear the word.
    Very interesting topic and definitely fun to talk about at the very least.
    Now, onto reading the comments…

  • Randy | July 26, 2017 at 11:33 am |

    First: I hate that Detroit’s new helmet stripes are void of any white when there is white in the Lion logo. Those “see through” silver sections of the helmet stripe SHOULD be white! – DUH! LOL

    Second: Any hope that long established professional sports teams in this country changing their native american themed name seems to be a losing cause. Even when there are clever ways to rename a team in a similar, yet less offensive manner. Example: Calling D.C.’s NFL team the Washington Pigskins and you could still refer to them as the “Skins” with it having a whole new meaning or call them the Washington Redfins (a type of Shark) you still get the “red” in the name and it phonetically rolls off the tongue the same, but Daniel Snyder would never make either swap. Getting schools and colleges to change is one thing, but the NFL or MLB is a daunting task.

    Hail to the Redfins!

    Hail Victory!

    Blood in the water!

    Chum for old D.C.!

    • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 11:57 am |

      Regarding the Lions helmet, there isn’t any white in the Northwestern stripes on the sleeves of their new jerseys, so the helmet stripes actually match that.

      • Randy | July 26, 2017 at 12:01 pm |

        Argh… Didn’t see that… then either add WHITE to them, or REMOVE white from the Lion logo. LOL This is basic stuff, people. LOL

      • Winter | July 26, 2017 at 12:51 pm |

        I just want them to cut the stripes on the helmets. Looks half done otherwise.

        • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm |

          Especially given the transparent space between the blue stripes. It’s just not a good look to leave them uncut.

  • Tim | July 26, 2017 at 11:39 am |

    A couple thoughts:

    1. Paul makes an excellent point when he wrote that “a “brave” actually can be defined as “a brave person,” just as Chris suggested. But come on – have you ever, ever heard anyone talk that way?” No, I haven’t, but then again, I haven’t really heard of “Brave” used as a noun in any context outside of the Atlanta baseball team. Is that term used in any other way? (Serious question.)

    2. Regarding the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs pic from the ticker: Uniform ads are bad enough, but when paired with numbers on the front of hockey jerseys, they look even worse. Ideally, get rid of both. I get the reason why teams have ads on their uniforms (not that I like it,) but the chest numbers on hockey jerseys are both hideous and have no reason to exist.

  • Ken | July 26, 2017 at 11:42 am |

    Honor Ted Turner and call them what he wanted to call them: the Eagles.

    • R.S. Rogers | July 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm |

      Ted Turner won the Ameria’s Cup with the yacht Courageous, so a shift of the team identity to honor bravery, the concept, rather than braves, the mostly mythological Indian warriors, would honor Turner.

  • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

    Why not call them the Peachtrees? Every other damn thing in Atlanta is.

    • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 2:20 pm |

      Including Uncle Ted’s former TV station, which is now “Peachtree TV” (since the superstation spun off from it into its own separate cable network a decade ago).

  • Le Cracquere | July 26, 2017 at 12:18 pm |

    I oppose the Braves’ changing a single thing–first and foremost, because I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “cultural misappropriation.” Another culture’s ideas, images, practices, etc., are legally and morally 100% fair game. Edward Said is dead, and it’s past time his misbegotten precepts followed him to an unlamented grave.

    But secondly: I’ll have no truck with any team nickname that isn’t a plural noun. The world doesn’t need a single additional “Magic,” “Wild,” “Jazz,” “Thunder,” or any other abstract concept/mass noun/adjective for a sports team–if I had the $$$, I’d buy ’em all just so I could rename them something non-risible. No way in hell should a founding N.L. team, of all organizations, become the latest example of such a detestable trend.

  • Eltee of DC | July 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm |

    I want to be clear here, I DO NOT miss Candlestick Park. No offense intended to the t-shirt shill show, I have no issues with that at all and I hope the Uni-Merch site sells brazillions of the “I still call it Candlestick” paraphernalia.

    However, If anyone had the unenviable pleasure of enduring a game there chew on this…
    From Evan Bladh  – a blogger for the all blue all the time “Think Blue” website.

    Had Horace Stoneham (Giants Owner at the time) done a little bit of homework, which would simply have required a few calls to real estate agents in the city, he would have learned that Candlestick Point was probably the worst spot in the City of San Francisco to build his ballpark. Every local San Franciscan knew that Candlestick was horrible when it came to weather, but then again there was something that barren piece of land had that few other spots in San Francisco could claim: room to park cars — a lot of room, in fact.

    Now if you sold a layered parka ensemble with extra inning buttons, sign me up.

  • Matt M. | July 26, 2017 at 12:44 pm |

    I remember a few years ago, someone suggested changing Washington’s name to the Americans; no logo change, just turn the R to an A, and the wordmark of course would say Americans.
    This proposal with Braves is similar, and I love both ideas. As the mental picture starts to change over the years, that’s when you start to introduce new logos, first as alternates and then entirely new branding.

  • Phil Hecken | July 26, 2017 at 1:03 pm |

    I’M CALLING THEM THE BARVES

  • Federko24 | July 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm |

    Just call them the Cleveland Spiders. Unique name for a pro sports tea with a link to the past. Team would make a fortune in new merchandise sales and the hoopla on the chief and team name

  • Federko24 | July 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm |

    Would end

  • GTV | July 26, 2017 at 2:21 pm |

    We could always go back to the pre-Braves name – the Atlanta Crackers. That name kind of demeans White people, but also means a wafer-like food.

    • Jon Rose | July 26, 2017 at 4:04 pm |

      There was a Negro League team called the Atlanta Black Crackers.

  • Christopher | July 26, 2017 at 2:22 pm |

    William & Mary went from Indians to Tribe, and over the last decade or so, removed all imagery associated with the name’s previous appropriation of indigenous culture and imagery. They’ve actively worked to redefine “Tribe” at the school as a more generic tightly-knit community. It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s worked pretty well.

    • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm |

      The word “tribe” has Latin roots that go back well over two thousand years.

  • Colin | July 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm |

    Would like to see redesign for Atlanta!

  • jonathan cain | July 26, 2017 at 2:41 pm |

    the peoria chiefs did something similar several years ago when they changed their logo. the “chief” is now a dalmatian with a fire hat- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoria_Chiefs, so what he said could possibly work.

  • Ryan M | July 26, 2017 at 3:11 pm |

    Atlanta Bravest just doesn’t do it for me. I’m thinking maybe it’s because it’s an adjective, and my brain just can’t handle that, so I don’t take it seriously.

    Atlanta Brave (used in a ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ sense) sounds like an American soccer team name (indoor, men’s prior to about 10 years ago, or women’s), or some other pro sports team that gets bounced around from one city to the next before eventually folding.

    Might as well just rip the ol’ band-aid off and come up with a new nickname rather than tweak the existing one if you’re wanting to eliminate all negative portrayals, a la Marquette.

  • Rob S | July 26, 2017 at 3:58 pm |

    You know, I noticed the title of today’s post this morning, and knowing about the original Jonathan Swift essay that spawned that phrase, I acknowledged it with a touch of bemusement, and then proceeded to take the article at face value, because I usually don’t have any reason not to, and the tone fits in with Paul’s well-established feelings about cultural appropriation.

    However, a short while ago, I realized… Swift’s essay was satirical, and the phrase “a modest proposal” has since been most commonly used satirically. Rarely is it actually used straight, without any sort of jest behind it. So, if I knew that, but had never visited Uni Watch until today, and thus not know Paul’s opinions on that issue, I would be wondering whether or not today’s piece was a satire or not.

    But, given that I have followed Paul on Uni Watch for upwards of a decade now (possibly even longer!), and given that I do have a pretty good idea on what he’s about, I would think that he’d be aware of the satirical value of that phrase. This suggests two possibilities that I can think of: one, he’s subverting the satirical value of the phrase and is really being sincere with his proposal; or two, he actually is satirizing himself, and isn’t actually truly serious about the name change. His replies in the comments, though, lean strongly toward sincerity rather than satire.

    If only you’d used a different adjective in the title, Paul! Then I wouldn’t have spent the last half hour writing this comment!

    • Jo | July 26, 2017 at 7:56 pm |

      Similar thoughts crossed my mind when reading the title as well, Rob!

  • Bill M. | July 26, 2017 at 4:02 pm |

    Re: “The Bravest”…

    It’s a S—T—R—E—T—C—H.
    And you might as well print up the tee-shirt now: “Im Still Calling Them The Braves.”

  • RickAZ | July 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm |

    I really like the “Bravest” idea that also honors firefighters and law enforcement.
    Question: Has any teams like the Braves or Indians gone to local tribes to get buy-in and make sure the imagery they use isn’t offensive? Forget Washington, there is no redeeming their name. It worked for Florida State and Illinois. Sure these teams are more generic, but it seems like a negative could be turned into a positive with ways to educate people on this culture.

  • Jeff | July 26, 2017 at 6:08 pm |

    Why doesn’t the Atlanta Baseball Organization go along the lines of the minor leagues with their odd names (Rumble Ponies, Sand Gnats, Yard Goats) and choose an odd name for themselves?

    I would suggest The Giant Peaches of Atlanta.

    (The only problem with this name would be the inevitable lawsuit filed by the family of Roald Dahl.)

  • Ted M. | July 26, 2017 at 6:09 pm |

    “Padres P Buddy Baumann wore some classic-looking stirrups last night…”

    Now that’s what a baseball player should look like.

  • Brent Nelson | July 26, 2017 at 6:27 pm |

    Do a feature on city flags!

  • Jeff Hunter | July 26, 2017 at 8:12 pm |

    Oh good God….more PC/feelings hurt crap. Since sooner or later this site will be lamenting any and all sports names for some reason or the other, let’s just go back to the very beginning and name every team the Primordial Soup. Now, no one can ever again complain about something that has absolutely no effect on their everyday lives.

    • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2017 at 10:58 pm |

      Since sooner or later this site will be lamenting any and all sports names for some reason or the other…

      Yes, exactly. Because this site has always lamented all sorts of things with no rhyme or reason. This site has never zeroed in on one specific area of problematic team identities (like, say, Native American-related team names). It’s always been a total free-for-all.

      Yup.

  • Ryan M | July 26, 2017 at 9:14 pm |

    What about, to honor Hank Aaron, the Hammers? Or is that too minor league-y?

  • Ian | July 26, 2017 at 11:29 pm |

    When are you going to start taking orders for “I still call them “the braves” shirts??

    The

  • Michael Romero | July 26, 2017 at 11:37 pm |

    Count me as someone who wishes the Giants would adpot the Color Rush unis as their full time “white/road” unis at this point. I know the all red trim whites are a nod to history, but I like these unis more, since they actually have blue in them.

  • Austin Gray | July 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm |

    Sorry for being late to the party on this. If I remember correctly, the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga used to be called the Moccasins. When the time came to eschew Native American imagery from their identity, they shortened it to just “Mocs,” and they now use a mockingbird (which is the state bird of Tennessee) as their mascot.

    Additionally, I think there was a time before Marquette changed their name to the Golden Eagles in which the Native American imagery they used with the name “Warriors” was replaced with Norse imagery.