The Braves host the Cardinals in a pivotal Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday, and while Atlanta's players are focused on avoiding elimination, the fans will be without the foam tomahawks handed out in Games 1 and 2.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atlanta decided to nix the tomahawk giveaway ahead of Game 5 in wake of comments made by Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley, whose mother is a full-blooded Cherokee, after Game 1.
"We're sensitive to it," a Braves spokesman said, via the Post-Dispatch.
The team also released a statement addressing the move announcing it will limit the "chop" chant during the game.
The #Braves have discontinued the practice of handing out foam tomahawks after the comments made by #STLCards pitcher Ryan Helsley, a Cherokee Nation member. Here is their statement: pic.twitter.com/NjioUNxsS0
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) October 9, 2019
"We will continue to evaluate how we activate elements of our brand, as well as the in-game experience," the statement reads.
After the Cardinals' 7-6 victory in Game 1, Helsley, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, called the "tomahawk chop" chant a "disappointment" and "disrespectful." Helsley also has the support of St. Louis manager Mike Shildt.
"I respect Ryan's opinion. All he's doing is trying to support his heritage," Shildt said, via the Post-Dispatch. "He's sincere about his heritage and the thoughts behind it. I don't think he's got anything malicious toward it. I think he was just honest about it. And I respect that completely."
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Game 5 of the NLDS between the Cardinals and Braves will be at 5:02 p.m. ET on Wednesday.