Tomahawk chop

The tomahawk chop is a sports celebration most popularly used by fans of the American Florida State University Seminoles, Atlanta Braves baseball team, the Kansas City Chiefs American football team and the English Exeter Chiefs rugby union team. The action involves moving the forearm forwards and backwards repetitively with an open palm to simulate a tomahawk chopping, and is often accompanied by a distinctive cheer.[1] The Atlanta Braves also developed a foam tomahawk to complement the fan actions.

Tomahawk CHOP! (8434044620)
The tomahawk chop being performed by members of the Georgia National Guard.

Florida State University

It is not known when the tomahawk chop was invented. However, it is claimed by a former Florida State University president that it was invented by the Florida State University Marching Chiefs in the 1980s to complement their war chants.[1] Another report claims it was first performed in 1984 by students from the university's fraternities behind the band. The action was adopted by fans of the FSU Seminoles over the following years.[2] Despite this, the university's board does not endorse the action stating "Some traditions we cannot control.....It's a term we did not choose and officially do not use".[2]

Atlanta Braves

The Tomahawk Chop (5050920787)
Atlanta Braves fans doing the tomahawk chop

The tomahawk chop was adopted by fans of the Atlanta Braves in 1991 following the signing of former FSU cornerback Deion Sanders, who was also playing for the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons at the time.[3] It was initially started by a few FSU fans in Atlanta who followed Sanders but this later grew to the whole of the Atlanta Braves' fanbase.[3] Initially fans would hold toy tomahawks when they did the action and the Atlanta Braves started to issue foam tomahawks which became popular at the Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium,[4] which later earned the nicknamed of "the Chop Shop".[3] The action continued to remain popular after Sanders had left the Atlanta Braves. From 2008 until 2016 as part of a sponsorship deal Chick-fil-A installed a 40-foot cow at Atlanta Braves' Turner Field, which would do a slow version of the tomahawk chop.[5]

In 2016, when the Atlanta Braves played their last game at Turner Field before leaving for SunTrust Park, the last official act done at Turner Field was known as "The Final Chop", where the Atlanta Braves warchant was played one last time with fans doing the tomahawk chop.[6]

Initially, the chant was accompanied on the organ at both Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field, but by 2008, the team had switched to a recording of the FSU Marching Chiefs, as an homage to Sanders.

Foam tomahawk

Foam tomahawk
A foam tomahawk

A foam tomahawk is a foam rubber sports paraphernalia item in the shape of a tomahawk, often used to accompany the tomahawk chop. They were first created in 1991 for the Atlanta Braves baseball team following their adoption of the tomahawk chop.[7]


Foam tomahawks were invented by foam salesman Paul Braddy. Upon hearing Skip Caray saying during a radio broadcast of an Atlanta Braves game that they needed tomahawks to accompany their newly acquired tomahawk chop celebration,[8] he approached the Braves' concessions manager John Eifert with a suggestion of a foam rubber tomahawk. Eifert agreed providing they cost around $5, to which Braddy carved a tomahawk out of foam with an electric knife.[9][7] Eifert bought 5,000 for sale for the Atlanta Braves.[10] The foam tomahawks became very popular with Braves fans at the Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium - [11] so much so, that Braddy was able to quit his $60,000 a year salesman's job in order to manufacture foam tomahawks full-time, and was able to create 8,000 a day.[12]

Braddy started selling them himself. However, he was approached by Major League Baseball a month into the venture, who claimed that the foam tomahawk infringed upon the Atlanta Braves' copyrighted tomahawk logo. In response, Braddy made a deal with Major League Baseball Properties to license the MLB symbol and receive logistical support in exchange for 10% of the profits.[8]


The usage of foam tomahawks led to criticism from Native American groups that it was "demeaning" to them and called for them to be banned.[7] In response, the Braves' public relations director said that it was "a proud expression of unification and family".[7] In preparation as a response to any potential ban, Braddy prepared to discuss deals with the Florida State University Seminoles, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins American football teams, as well as other universities with Native American mascots.[8]

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs first heard it in November 1990, when the Northwest Missouri State band, directed by 1969 Florida State graduate Al Sergel, did the chant.

"It's a direct descendant of Florida State," said Chiefs promotions director Phil Thomas. "The band started doing the tomahawk chop, and the players and (coach) Marty Schottenheimer loved it."[13]

The Tomahawk Chop has evolved into a pregame tradition at home games. Chiefs cheerleaders will use their hands to bang on a large drum to the beat of the Tomahawk Chop, as well as a former player or local celebrity will bang on the drum with a large drum stick while the crowd does the Tomahawk Chop.

Exeter Chiefs

The English rugby team Exeter Chiefs adopted the name of "Chiefs" in 1999.[14] They started using it along with the war chant in 2010, following their promotion to the English Premiership.[15] They use it as their walk out music at Sandy Park[16] as well as a chant by their fans during rugby matches.[17]


Usage of the tomahawk chop has led to complaints that it made fun of Native American culture.[18] It also was criticized for being a reference to the former practice of scalping.[14] Shortly after the Atlanta Braves adopted it, there were a number of calls from Native Americans for Braves fans to stop doing the tomahawk chop.[10] Prior to the 1991 World Series a number of Native Americans protested against the Braves using the tomahawk chop outside the Metrodome. During the protests Clyde Bellecourt, national director of the American Indian Movement, suggested that the team could be called "the Atlanta Negroes, Atlanta Klansmen or Atlanta Nazis".[19] In 2009, the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee, a local school board in Massachusetts, banned the use of the gesture at school sporting events, calling it offensive and discriminatory.[20] In 2016, Native American groups asked the Kansas City Chiefs to stop doing the tomahawk chop.[21] In the same year a similar request was made of Exeter Chiefs.[22]

In politics, during the 2012 Senate election in Massachusetts, staffers of candidate Scott Brown were filmed doing the tomahawk chop at a campaign rally towards supporters of Elizabeth Warren, to mock Warren's claim of having Native American ancestry.[23]


  1. ^ a b L.V. Anderson (2012-09-26). "Origins of the tomahawk chop: Scott Brown's staffers mocking Elizabeth Warren are continuing a long tradition". Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  2. ^ a b "The "Tomahawk Chop" started in 1984 during an FSU vs. Auburn football game". Savannah Now. 2006-08-08. Archived from the original on 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  3. ^ a b c Anderson, Dave (1991-10-13). "The Braves' Tomahawk Phenomenon". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  4. ^ CRAIG DAVIS (1991-09-14). "Braves' Park Now A Tomahawk Shop". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  5. ^ "Chick-fil-A cow leaving Turner Field for SunTrust Park early". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  6. ^ TEGNA (2016-10-03). "Braves turn off the lights at Turner Field for final time". Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  7. ^ a b c d Anderson, Dave (1991-10-13). "Sports of The Times - The Braves' Tomahawk Phenomenon". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  8. ^ a b c "200,000 Foam Tomahawks: That's Not Chopped Liver". Bloomberg. 1991-10-11. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  9. ^ "Carving can be electric". Baltimore Sun. 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  10. ^ a b Anderson, Dave (1991-10-13). "Sports of The Times - The Braves' Tomahawk Phenomenon". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  11. ^ Hiatt, Gabe. "A Super Bowl win could help Atlanta shake its reputation as a bad sports town". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  12. ^ CRAIG DAVIS (1991-09-14). "Braves' Park Now A Tomahawk Shop". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  13. ^ "The Tomahawk Chop-it's No Longer Just Fsu's". Sun Sentinel. 1991-10-09. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  14. ^ a b Ed Oldfield (2016-08-03). "Is it time for Exeter Chiefs to bury the tomahawks?". Exeter Express and Echo. Archived from the original on 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  15. ^ Rugby Union Correspondent, Chris Hewett. "Exeter do have a funny side but nobody's laughing now". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  16. ^ By This is Devon (2011-03-04). "The Tomahawk Chop chant has become the soundtrack to Exeter Chiefs's recent success". Western Morning News. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  17. ^ Club (2011-12-30). "Listen to the Exeter Chiefs' war chant". Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  18. ^ Bates, Mike (2013-05-01). "Yeah, the "Tomahawk Chop" bugs me. Here's why". SBNation. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  19. ^ "Think It`s Time To Put The Tomahawk Away?". Sun Sentinel. 1991-10-20. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  20. ^ Davis, Miranda (2016-11-28). "District to review Tomahawk Chop during Turners Thanksgiving game". Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  21. ^ Ariel Rothfield (2016-01-15). "Kansas indigenous group asking Kansas City Chiefs fans to stop the Tomahawk chop". KSHB. Archived from the original on 2016-12-28. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  22. ^ By EdOldfield (2016-08-08). "A message for Exeter Chiefs rugby club from a member of the Crow Creek Dakota Sioux tribe". Exeter Express and Echo. Archived from the original on 2016-08-09. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  23. ^ "Scott Brown Staffers Do 'Tomahawk Chop' at Rally". ABC News. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
Alcorn State Braves and Lady Braves

The Alcorn State Braves and Lady Braves represent Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi in intercollegiate athletics. They field fifteen teams including men and women's basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, and track and field; women's-only soccer, softball, and volleyball; and men's-only baseball and football. The Braves compete in NCAA Division I and are members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Chief Noc-A-Homa

Chief Noc-A-Homa was the original mascot of the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves from the 1950s until 1986. The name was used for the "screaming Indian" sleeve patch worn on Braves jerseys. From at least the early 1960s, while still in Milwaukee County Stadium, until the early 1980s at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, this mascot "lived" in a teepee in an unoccupied section of the bleacher seats.

The name was intended to be a playful variation of "Knock a Homer." The mascot's job was to exit his teepee and perform a dance whenever a Braves player hit a home run.

In the late 1970s, when the previously mediocre Braves became contenders again, a peculiar superstition arose. When football season approached and the portable bleachers needed to be opened up for the Atlanta Falcons, the teepee was typically removed, and at that point, the Braves would typically start to lose. Superstitious fans claimed that disrupting Noc-A-Homa's home was the cause of their downturn, rather than the team just not having enough depth to sustain first place for the season. After this happened several years in a row, though, the story began to gain some currency. The rumor reached its height in 1982, when the Braves were in first place with a seemingly insurmountable lead. Needing additional seating for sellouts, the Braves removed the teepee and sold tickets for the seats normally supporting it. The Braves promptly lost 19 of their next 21 games and fell to second place. When Braves management put the teepee back in place, the Braves went back to first place and ultimately won the Western division that year.

Late in Noc-A-Homa's duration, Hopewell, Virginia native Kimberly Ann Calos was introduced as "Princess Win-A-Lotta"

The best-known Noc-A-Homa was Levi Walker, Jr., an Ottawa native and an Odawa Indian. In 1986, Walker and the Braves mutually agreed to end their relationship due to disagreements about pay and missed dates. Walker petitioned the club to revive his role during the Braves' 1991 pennant run, but the Braves' management declined. During the late 1970s, the Braves also had a green mascot called Bleacher Creature.

Noc-a-Homa was eventually replaced as the mascot by the characters Homer and Rally. This has not, however, circumvented the introduction of other Native American-inspired traditions for Braves fans, such as the "Tomahawk Chop," adapted from Florida State's popular war chant upon the arrival of Florida State University multi-sport star Deion Sanders .

The Simpsons referenced Noc-a-Homa in "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot," when Homer competes as battle robot named "Chief Knock-a-Homer."

Atlanta-based band Black Lips wrote a song titled "Noc-A-Homa" for their 2011 album Arabia Mountain. Guitarist Cole Alexander said of the song, ""The guy who acted as the mascot was a real Native American and he used to do prayer dances on the pitcher's mound... He was just a nice guy who rooted for the team."

Chris Simon

Christopher J. Simon (born January 30, 1972) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey left winger, who played 20 seasons of ice hockey: 15 seasons in the NHL and 5 seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League. He last played for Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the KHL. During his NHL career, Simon's suspensions for disciplinary reasons totaled 65 games.

Crayon (song)

"Crayon" (Korean: 크레용; RR: Keureyong) is a song recorded by South Korean singer-rapper G-Dragon, serving as the third single of his first extended play One of a Kind (2012). It was written and produced by G-Dragon and Teddy Park.

Football chant

A football chant or terrace chant is a song or chant sung at association football matches. They can be historic, dating back to the formation of the club, adaptations of popular songs, plagiarised, a mock of the originals, spontaneous reactions to events on the pitch. They are one of the last remaining sources of an oral folk song tradition in the United Kingdom. Traditions vary from country to country and team to team, but they are generally used either to encourage the home team or slight the opposition. Not only do fans sing songs to directly slight the opposition they are playing that day; many teams sing songs about their club rivals, even if they are not playing them.

List of sports team names and mascots derived from indigenous peoples

While the history of colonization and marginalization is not unique to the Americas, the practice of deriving sports team names, imagery, and mascots from indigenous peoples of North America is a significant phenomenon in the United States and Canada. The popularity of the American Indian in global culture has led to a number of teams in Europe also adopting team names derived from Native Americans. In Asia, Africa, Australia and South America, the adoption of indigenous names generally indicates that the team members are themselves indigenous. While there are team names in North America derived from other ethnic groups, such as the Boston Celtics, the New York Yankees, the University of Notre Dame "Fighting Irish" and the Minnesota Vikings, these are names selected by immigrant/settler groups to represent themselves.

The rise of indigenous rights movements has led to controversy regarding the continuation of practices rooted in colonialism. Such practices maintain the power relationship between the dominant culture and the indigenous culture, and can be seen as a form of cultural imperialism. Such practices are seen as particularly harmful in schools and universities, which have the a stated purpose of promoting ethnic diversity and inclusion. In recognition of the responsibility of higher education to eliminate behaviors that creates a hostile environment for education, in 2005 the NCAA initiated a policy against "hostile and abusive" names and mascots that led to the change of many derived from Native American culture, with the exception of those that established an agreement with particular tribes for the use of their specific names. Other schools retain their names because they were founded for the education of Native Americans, and continue to have a significant number of indigenous students.

The trend towards the elimination of indigenous names and mascots in local schools has been steady, with two thirds having been eliminated over the past 50 years according to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). In a few states with significant Native American populations, change has been mandated by law, such in Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington.Little League International has updated its 2019 rulebook to include a statement prohibiting "the use of team names, mascots, nicknames or logos that are racially insensitive, derogatory or discriminatory in nature." This decision has been applauded by the National Congress of American Indians.

MLBPA Baseball

MLBPA Baseball, known in Japan as Fighting Baseball (ファイティングベースボール, Faitingu Besuboru, "Fighting Baseball"), is a baseball video game for the Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, and Game Gear.

NCAA Native American mascot decision

In 2005 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) distributed a "self evaluation" to its member institutions for teams to examine the use of potentially offensive imagery with their mascot choice. This examination was done in accordance with NCAA policy that requires each member institution to maintain an "atmosphere of respect for and sensitivity to the dignity of every person." Fourteen schools either removed all references to Native American culture or were deemed not to have references to Native American culture as part

of their athletics programs. Subsequently, 19 teams were cited as having potentially "hostile or abusive" names, mascots, or images, that would be banned from displaying them during post-season play, and prohibited from hosting tournaments.

Naranjeros de Hermosillo

The Naranjeros de Hermosillo (English: Hermosillo Orange Growers) is a baseball team in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP). Based in Hermosillo, Sonora, they are one of the most successful teams in the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico with 16 titles. They were the first Mexican team to win the Caribbean Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1976.

Native American mascot controversy

The use of terms and images referring to Native Americans/First Nations as the name or mascot for a sports team is a topic of public controversy in the United States and Canada. Since the 1960s, as part of the indigenous civil rights movements, there have been a number of protests and other actions by Native Americans and their supporters. The protests target the prominent use of such names and images by professional franchises such as the Cleveland Indians (in particular their "Chief Wahoo" logo, now officially retired); and the Washington Redskins (the term "redskins" being defined in most American English dictionaries as "derogatory slang"). Changes, such as the retirement of Native American names and mascots in a wide array of schools, has been a steady trend since the 1970s.

The issue is often discussed in the media only in terms of the offensiveness of certain terms, images, and performances to individuals of Native American heritage, which tends to reduce the problem to one of feelings and personal opinions. This prevents a fuller understanding of the history and context of the use of Native American names and images, and the reasons why sports teams should eliminate the utilization of such terms. Social science research says that sports mascots and images, rather than being mere entertainment, are important symbols with deeper psychological and social effects. The accumulation of research on the harm done has led to over 115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts adopting resolutions or policies that state that the use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a form of ethnic stereotyping that promotes misunderstanding and prejudice which contributes to other problems faced by Native Americans.Defenders of the current usage often state their intention to honor Native Americans by referring to positive traits, such as fighting spirit and being strong, brave, stoic, dedicated, and proud; while opponents see these traits as being based upon stereotypes of Native Americans as savages. In general, the social sciences recognize that all stereotypes, whether positive or negative, are harmful because they promote false or misleading associations between a group and an attribute, fostering a disrespectful relationship. The injustice of such stereotypes is recognized with regard to other racial or ethnic groups, thus mascots are morally questionable regardless of offense being taken by individuals. Defenders of the status quo also state that the issue is not important, being only about sports, and that the opposition is nothing more than "political correctness", which change advocates argue ignores the extensive evidence of harmful effects of stereotypes and bias. Although there has been a steady decline in the number of teams doing so, Native American images and nicknames nevertheless remain fairly common in American and Canadian sports, and may be found in use at all levels, from youth teams to professional sports franchises.

No Way Out (2006)

No Way Out (2006) was the eighth annual No Way Out professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on February 19, 2006, at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland and was a SmackDown! brand-exclusive event. The official theme song was "Deadly Game" by Theory of a Deadman.The main event saw Kurt Angle defend his World Heavyweight Championship against The Undertaker. Angle won the match after reversing a Triangle Choke into a jackknife cover. One of the predominant matches on the card was Randy Orton versus Rey Mysterio for Mysterio's world championship match at WrestleMania 22. Orton won the match with a roll-up while using the ropes for extra leverage. Another primary match on the undercard was Booker T versus Chris Benoit for the WWE United States Championship, which Benoit won after forcing Booker to submit to the Crippler Crossface.

North Florida Ospreys

The North Florida Ospreys are the athletic teams of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. The Ospreys compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I. UNF became a full-fledged member of Division I in 2009; previously, the Ospreys were members of the Sunshine State Conference and Peach Belt Conference in NCAA Division II. UNF fields teams in seven men's sports and ten women's sports.

Osceola and Renegade

Osceola and Renegade are the official mascots of the Florida State University Seminoles. Osceola, representing the historical Seminole leader Osceola, and his Appaloosa horse Renegade introduce home football games by riding to midfield with a burning spear and planting it in the turf.

Osceola and Renegade debuted in 1978, and are the most recent of several mascots used by the school. FSU has tried to ensure a dignified depiction of Osceola. The portrayal is supported by leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, but it remains controversial in some quarters.

Shake Ya Tailfeather

"Shake Ya Tailfeather" is a song recorded by American rappers Nelly, P. Diddy and Murphy Lee. It was released in 2003 from the Bad Boys II Soundtrack. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, giving Nelly his third number one on the chart, P. Diddy's fourth, and Lee's first. The song was also included on Lee's debut album, Murphy's Law. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 2004 Grammy Awards.

Ted Nolan

Theodore John Nolan (born April 7, 1958) is a Canadian former professional hockey left winger, former head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and Latvia men's national ice hockey team. From July 2017 until May 2018 he was head coach of the Poland men's national ice hockey team. He played three seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also coached the New York Islanders, after serving as assistant coach for one season with the Hartford Whalers. On November 13, 2013, the Buffalo Sabres re-hired Nolan as interim head coach; he remained in the position until April 12, 2015. Ted Nolan's success in hockey didn’t come easily to him. He had fought through poverty growing up on the Garden River reserve, in a small house that had no running hot water or electricity. He loved hockey as a kid so much that he would build fires around the well to free up the frozen pump, then he would carry the pail of water to his little rink.Nolan has two sons, Brandon Nolan, a Vancouver Canucks draft pick who last played for the American Hockey League's Albany River Rats, and Jordan Nolan, a winger currently playing for the St. Louis Blues.

He is a member of the Ojibwe tribe, a First Nations people.


A tomahawk is a type of single-handed axe from North America, traditionally resembling a hatchet with a straight shaft. The name came into the English language in the 17th century as an adaptation of the Powhatan (Virginian Algonquian) word.

Tomahawks were general-purpose tools used by Native Americans and later the European colonials with whom they traded, and often employed as a hand-to-hand or a thrown weapon. The metal tomahawk heads were originally based on a Royal Navy boarding axe and used as a trade-item with Native Americans for food and other provisions.

Turner Field

Turner Field was a stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1997 to 2016, it served as the home ballpark to the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). Originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium in 1996 to serve as the centerpiece of the 1996 Summer Olympics, the stadium was converted into a baseball park to serve as the new home of the team. The Braves moved less than one block from Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, which served as their home ballpark for 31 seasons from 1966 to 1996.

Opening during the Braves' "division dominance" years, Turner Field hosted the NLDS a total of 11 times (1997–2005, 2010, 2013), the NLCS four times (1997–1999, 2001), one World Series (1999), one NL Wild Card Game (2012, the first in baseball history), and the 2000 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The Braves played the final game at Turner Field on October 2, 2016, a 1–0 win over the Detroit Tigers. The franchise allowed its lease on the facility to expire at the end of the calendar year. In 2017, the team moved to the newly-constructed SunTrust Park, located in nearby Cobb County.

The stadium has been reconfigured for the second time, redesigned for college football as Georgia State Stadium. Architecture firm Heery was responsible for both stadium conversions.

Key personnel
World Series
Championships (3)
National League
Championships (17)
World's Championship Series
Championships (1)
National Association
Championships (4)
Division titles (18)
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Minor league
Bowls & rivalries
Culture & lore
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