So far, the Atlanta Braves have resisted moving on from the nickname, in wake of the decisions made by the Washington Football Team and Cleveland Indians over the last year. After the passing of team legend Hank Aaron on Friday, those calls have been renewed, with many proposing a change to the "Atlanta Hammers" as a tribute to "Hammerin' Hank."
The Washington Football Team previously had the most egregious of the racial slurs used in American professional sports, before making the generic name change. It is unclear whether they'll be sticking with the current name, or moving towards a more traditional monicker. "Washington Red Wolves" and "Washington Redtails" are among the more popular options if they adopt a new nickname, though that doesn't sound like a certainty after this year's playoff push.
Last month, it was announced that the Cleveland Indians will change their name. So far, no decisions have been made, but "Cleveland Spiders," the former National League team that existed in the city in the late 1800s, is a popular option, as is "Cleveland Guardians."
The Braves have resisted making the same decision so far. The "Braves" nickname is obviously not as clearly racist as the Washington Football Team's former name, and it doesn't have the same historic faults as "Indians," but at the end of the day, many are uncomfortable with any race of people being used as a mascot, and stereotypical aspects that go along with it, like the ubiquitous "Tomahawk Chop" are problematic. After yesterday's news, however, there is a renewed push for the team to adopt the "Atlanta Hammers" name, which is both unique, and a tribute to Hank Aaron, one of the greatest players in the sport's history. Even Braves great Dale Murphy is on board:
Based on the Atlanta Braves reaction to calls for a change in 2020, it doesn't seem likely though. The franchise made its thoughts clear over the summer, in a letter to team ticket holders.
“Through our conversations, changing the name of the Braves is not under consideration or deemed necessary. We have great respect and reverence for our name and the Native American communities that have held meaningful relationships with us do as well. We will always be the Atlanta Braves.
“As it relates to the fan experience, including the chop, it is one of the many issues that we are working through with the advisory group."
There's certainly a valid discussion to be had here, but for my money, that logo above looks great, and "Atlanta Hammers" is a pretty awesome name and tribute to the legendary Hank Aaron.