A California TV news station apologized Thursday for using the racially insensitive phrase “Braves Scalped” to describe the Atlanta baseball team’s loss.
“Wednesday evening, in our 6 p.m. newscast, we had a story about the Atlanta Braves that included a phrase that was racially insensitive toward Native Americans. It was not our intention to offend anyone, and we want to express our deepest apologies for the use of that phrase,” tweeted KTVU, which is based in the Bay Area.
The station sparked outrage during its coverage of the Braves’ loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, with critics calling it stunningly out-of-touch.
“Hey @KTVU, anyone who saw this headline before it aired should be fired,” tweeted sports reporter Caleb Turpentine.
Another observer added, “Man, I can’t believe the kind of stuff they put on TV back in the… OMG THAT’S FROM TONIGHT SERIOUSLY SO BAD.”
The backlash came several days after Cardinals rookie Ryan Helsley, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, bashed the Braves for use of its “tomahawk chop” chant.
“‘I think it’s a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general,” Helsley said, according to Sports Illustrated. “Just depicts them in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren’t intellectual.”
He added, “They are a lot more than that. It’s not me being offended by the whole mascot thing. It’s not. It’s about the misconception of us, the Native Americans, and how we’re perceived in that way, or used as mascots.”