Target: New York Mets, Professional Baseball Team
Goal: Condemn the New York Mets for canceling an event celebrating Native American Heritage
The New York Mets recently cancelled an event intending to celebrate Native American culture. Their decision to cancel the event was out of a concern that the event might offend their opposing team, the Atlanta Braves.
The New York Mets had partnered with nonprofit American Indian Community House to create the Native American Heritage Night. The event was intended to promote Native American heritage and collect money for the nonprofit group. Various activities such as traditional dances and songs were planned to take place before the start of the game, and tickets were sold specifically to the American Indian Community House members and members of other Native American groups.
The event will no longer be taking place because of changes that the Mets made to the layout for the evening upon finding out that their opponents would be the Atlanta Braves, a team with a Native American logo. Once this was determined, the Mets informed the American Indian Community House that the event would need to be changed out of fear that Native American individuals attending the game might harbor negative feelings towards the Atlanta Braves and therefore have an ulterior agenda. The Mets officials decided to call off the event in order to be sensitive to the Atlanta Braves as a “partner MLB team,” as stated in an email they sent to the American Indian Community House.
The Mets’ decision to portray more sensitivity for the Atlanta Braves than for the American Indians that were invited to the game – and whose heritage was supposed to be celebrated – is highly disappointing. The Mets intended to celebrate Native American heritage through an event that would have been both progressive and meaningful within the context of sports teams in the United States, who don’t often reach out to marginalized groups in this way, but instead protected a team that uses imagery that offends American Indians.
By signing the petition below you will be condemning the New York Mets for prioritizing the protection of a baseball team with offensive imagery over the celebration of American Indian heritage.
Dear New York Mets,
Your decision to hold a Native American Heritage event to celebrate the culture of members of the American Indian Community House and other groups of Native American was a very exciting and progressive step forward for the sports community. It is unusual to see a sports team reach out to a marginalized group and partner with nonprofits in this way, and the event would have been an important statement about the need for all individuals and groups to take a stand in favor of justice for marginalized peoples. Your decision to cancel this event for fear of putting the Atlanta Braves in an awkward position is severely disappointing.
I am writing you to express my disappointment at your disregard for the American Indian people that you ignored when canceling this event. It is extremely sad to see a sports team be prioritized over a group of underrepresented and underserved people, and I find it very disconcerting that this event was cancelled so that those who are offending the American Indian peoples could be comfortable. I hope that you will make better, more respectful decisions in the future that prioritize people over franchises.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: The New York Mets via Wikimedia Commons