Melania Trump performs racist gesture in first public outing since July

Former US President Donald Trump attended a baseball game with wife Melania on Saturday – the first time they’ve been seen together in several months.

It was the first time Melania had been seen in public since July, when she was spotted leaving the Trump Tower in New York City in the shadow of her towering son Barron.

And before this weekend's appearance she hadn't been seen with her husband since April, when she dined with him at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Even at Mar-a-Lago, she tends to keep a low profile.

"She's not a presence at Mar-a-Lago at all," an insider at the resort revealed. "She's not mingling with people and rarely interacts with her husband's staff."

This weekend's baseball outing saw a rare show of togetherness amid rumours of an impending divorce.

But wherever Trump goes, controversy follows. And both the ex-President and his wife were seen performing what has come to be regarded as a "racist" gesture before the game.

The Trumps were at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, to watch the Georgia team take on the Houston Astros in the US World Series of Baseball.

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But the name, 'Atlanta Braves' is increasingly seen as unacceptable in the modern era because it’s associated with stereotypical views of Native American people.

Other teams that had traditionally used First Nations-inspired branding – such as the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians – have adopted more neutral names and badges.

But Atalanta are sticking with their name, and their signature tomahawk "chop" salute, that’s meant to resemble "Red Indians" in cowboy movies chopping away with their hand-held axes.

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The Trumps enthusiastically joined Atlanta fans in a stadium-wide "chop", instantly drawing criticism from Indigenous People’s groups.

In the past few days Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, has set out the group’s policy on Atlanta’s branding.

"The name 'Braves', the tomahawk adorning the team's uniform, and the 'tomahawk chop' that the team exhorts its fans to perform at home games are meant to depict and caricature not just one tribal community but all Native people, and that is certainly how baseball fans and Native people everywhere interpret them.

"In our discussions with the Atlanta Braves, we have repeatedly and unequivocally made our position clear – Native people are not mascots, and degrading rituals like the 'tomahawk chop' that dehumanise and harm us have no place in American society," she added.

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