There is a battle raging with regard to the Atlanta Braves, but it is not one that the average fan would expect.
This particular debate hinges on the future of a statue. Outside of Turner Field stands a tribute to Hank Aaron, and with the organization moving its home to Cobb County, there is a movement to keep the statue at its current site within the city limits.
J. Scott Trubey of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution took a look at the situation this week, and a key portion of the issue lies with Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is the executive director of the recreation authority that oversees Turner Field and other venues. To the surprise of no one, Bottoms is making the case that Aaron's statue should stay in Atlanta, while the Braves organization remains in stark opposition.
Bottoms reportedly claims to have documents indicating that Aaron's statue should remain where it currently stands, and the city employee also indicated recently that the city was "able to work out an agreement with the Braves". However, the organization refutes that idea, and on Wednesday, the Braves released the following statement:
"We were surprised by the release from Keisha Lance Bottoms as we do not have an agreement regarding the Hank Aaron statue. We believe the statue should be located wherever Hank Aaron would like it to go and we have stated this position to Ms. Bottoms. The Braves organization is committed to respecting his wishes and we are hopeful that Ms. Bottoms has this same position. We are in discussions with Hank, and once he makes his intentions clear to us, we will make the appropriate arrangements. Regardless, we will honor Hank and his legacy with the Braves in a significant way at SunTrust Park. Hank is and will always be a treasure to us and our community."
At this point, nothing is finalized, but the one thing that persists is that the Braves (at least publicly) want the statue to rest wherever Hank Aaron wishes it to be. The heart of the issue is, once again, the sharp divide in public sentiment as to whether the Braves should ever have chosen to move to Cobb County, and with that as the backdrop, this argument will likely persist even beyond the timeframe in which a firm decision is made.
Hank Aaron is the best player in the history of the Atlanta Braves franchise and an enduring piece of his legacy remains mired in controversy. What do you think about where it should stand moving forward?