Let’s just say this is not a good time for the San Francisco Giants and their ownership group as they have to fight to win back trust of the public as well as some of their fans amid calls for a boycott of the team following the questionable political donations by their principal owner,Charles Johnson.
The boycott calls came after public election filings revealed one of the team’s owners,
Charles Johnson, donated the maximum $2,700 to the campaign of Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican U.S. Senator from Mississippi who has expressed racist remarks. His wife,Ann,matched the donation. Hyde-Smith stated that she would “be on the front row” or hanging if she were invited to one.
Johnson,85,is one of 30 owners of the team but holds the largest stake (25-percent) in the team (By the way,I had never heard of Johnson or knew he was the principal owner before all of this happened). Last month,Johnson made a rare statement condemning racism after election filings showed he donated $1,000 to a super PAC called Black Americans for the President’s Agenda that aired racist advertisements in Arkansas. That donation has since been rescinded upon Johnson’s request.
On Monday,Giants CEO Larry Baer (who I thought was the principal owner of the team) issued a statement which made clear that racist viewpoints are in “direct conflict” with the values of the Giants organization and noted the efforts the Giants have made to promote equality and tolerance in the community.
This statement from Baer,as good of a guy I think he is, falls very short for me.
First of all,there wasn’t an apology in there whatsoever to fans who feel offended by the actions of one of their principal owners donating money to someone who’s expressed racist viewpoints and that they’ll work to make things right in the future. All this statement does is dismiss what happened as well as the issue at the forefront and doesn’t suggest that the team understands the consequences of the actions of the principal owner. Instead,they’ve focused on the narrative that they’ve done great progressive things in the past that suggests that the team is not racist. This is nothing more than low level damage control that leaves more to be desired among many fans.
Now,if this statement was more than enough to suffice for you,that’s fine. We all know the team has done great things and the fact does remain that Johnson can’t be fired or forced to divest his stake in the team,no matter how many of us think it should happen.
Yes,it’s true that none of us or even the other 29 owners of the team can’t control who one another votes or supports for,but when any donation is made to any candidate regardless of political party after an instance where that candidate expresses a wish to be front row at a public hanging is going to be questioned ad nauseum and becomes an issue bigger than the team,or sports altogether.
We live in very volatile times in this country,where everything you do is watched over and is subject to scrutiny. One move like making a campaign contribution,no matter how big or small,to someone who makes a horrid statement such a Hyde-Smith did,is going to alienate people. It already has. What truly needs to happen is for Johnson to write a statement of his own as to why he did what he did,what he’s doing to right the wrong and what he can do going forward. The team also needs to express what they need to do going forward and should welcome all suggestions from fans alike.
However,before all of this begins,apologies need to be issued. Because if nobody is sorry about what’s taken place,then nothing as far as reconciliation is going to take place and in the end,no lessons gets learned from any of this.