Chop, a stadium-wide success and a long tradition at the Braves Games, was once again under scrutiny as part of a national debate on racism and racial imagery in professional sports.
Several advocacy groups and observers have accused the chanting of mocking Indian groups and calling it racist. But many Braves fans, including Republican Gov. Gov. Brian Kemp, rejected the criticism, and the stadium encouraged fans to shout in the 3rd and 4th games of the series.
Trump has often tried to take advantage of such controversies politically as part of an effort to encourage white voters, who make up a large part of his political base.
Former President and First Lady Melania Trump is accompanied by former NFL star Herschel Walker, who is vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate in Georgia. The support of former President Walker, initially stemming from the reservations of the majority of the GOP establishment, gave the former refugee an impetus ahead of next year’s election. Republicans hope to oust incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in the general election.
In a statement earlier Saturday, the former president said he was “looking forward to performing at the World Championships in Atlanta,” adding that he and Melania “are looking forward to a wonderful evening watching two great teams!”
He thanked MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and New York Yankees President Randy Levin for the invitation.
“He called MLB and wanted to come to the game,” McGuirk told the newspaper. “We were very surprised. Of course we said yes.”
His 2020 presidential campaign also brought seven-digit sales during the last match of the 2019 World Series.
Since leaving office, Trump attended a UFC fight card in July and commented on the Sept. 11 boxing bout.
Karl de Vries, Mike Warren and Jill Martin of CNN contributed to this report.