A woke USA Today columnist who covers sports and Major League Baseball, Bob Nightengale, wrote an article on Wednesday detailing his decision not to describe the Atlanta Braves using the team’s nickname just days after he repeatedly referred to the team as the “Braves” in tweets and articles.
In his column “MLB, club won’t budge on Atlanta baseball team’s nickname, but here’s why I won’t use it,” Nightengale explains that he “just hate[s] its nickname, believing it’s racist and offensive,” and is “stunned” that neither the club nor the MLB commissioner has renounced it.
“While I can’t stop the tomahawk chop or make Atlanta change its name, what I can do is not acknowledge the nickname,” Nightengale wrote. “In recent years, I have tried to avoid using Atlanta’s nickname in columns. I find it offensive, and after talking and listening to Native American leaders, friends and associates, it only fortifies my belief. Copy editors have occasionally changed it in my copy because until now this has been my private stance.”
Despite Nightengale’s insistence that he is against the use of the team’s nickname, he has repeatedly used it recently. And even if the mentions of the “Braves” in his articles were the work of a copy editor, Nightengale has also used the name in his recent tweets.
He literally used it 5 days ago. pic.twitter.com/q2kZDoQVHG
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) October 28, 2021
In an article published on Oct. 18, Nightengale used the “Braves” at least five times. Just two days before Nightengale’s new column criticizing the team’s nickname was published, USA Today retroactively scrubbed any mention of the “Braves” from his column titled “Mighty Dodgers are reeling, frustrated after two walk-off NLCS wins for the Braves,” replacing it with “Atlanta.”
Other recent articles from Nightengale still display the “Braves” nickname on his author page, but the article pages themselves are all edited to omit any mention of what the columnist has dubbed a “deeply insulting and offensive” term.
A quick search of Nightengale’s Twitter also shows that the writer frequently engaged the team’s nickname up until just a few days ago.
Sweet revenge: Atlanta Braves knock off Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to World Series https://t.co/h12BJi3PZZ
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 24, 2021
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 22, 2021
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 16, 2021