PIERRE ¿ —When you wake up in the middle of the night, too early to stay up for the day but your mind is too busy to get back to sleep, odd thoughts spill into your head. For some reason I can’t understand, I found myself the other night trying to mentally recite the words to our national anthem.
The final phrase stuck in my head, too: “ . . . and the home of the brave.”
And in that moment I started to rethink my thinking about whether calling a sports team the Braves is a racial wrong.
I would rather we be done with tomahawks and feathers and that chopping motion as symbols and expressions for sports teams. Those just play on a big group of people’s heritage.
I have absolutely no use for the team names used for the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Redskins.
For a long time I felt the same way about the Atlanta Braves. As a Little League coach, my team was designated as the Braves one season. I volunteered to pay for new jerseys bearing some other team, such as the Nationals.
It didn’t get far. We stayed the Braves. The local association still uses the Braves.
A friend who’s coaching a team in Little League this season was assigned the Braves. He refused to accept any team name that was offensive.
When I heard about his stand Thursday I thought, “Darn right.”