The following statement was presented at a noon press conference held by civil rights attorney John Burris and San Francisco NAACP President Dr. Amos C. Brown at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister St., San Francisco, on Monday, Nov. 26.
John Burris calls for boycott of the San Francisco Giants
Rarely am I shocked when I learn public positions of the one percenters, for clearly I understand that they speak powerfully and often behind closed doors. However, when I learned that Charles Johnson, principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, sent $2,700 to Cindy Hyde-Smith, a candidate for Mississippi senator and an avowed segregationist, I was shocked and felt a sense of community betrayal.
Even more appalling is that Johnson most recently sent money to a hate group in Arkansas who produced a radio ad that said: “White Democrats will be lynching Black folk again.”
As a native Californian, I have grown from childhood to senior citizen as a Giants’ fan. My first baseball hero was Willie Mays, and I have rooted for the team through its ups and downs. Like all longsuffering Giant fans, I rejoiced with the three championship World Series.
As a civil rights lawyer, and a baseball historian even as a child, I have a deep appreciation for the legacy of the Negro League, Jackie Robinson and the importance that baseball has played in bringing different ethnic groups and communities together. As such, it is an anathema to my sense of social justice to support a team whose principal owner financially supports Hyde-Smith.
It is an anathema to my sense of social justice to support a team whose principal owner financially supports Hyde-Smith.
Charles Johnson’s financial support is an affront to all the African American families that have been victims of Mississippi’s historical legacy of voter suppression, physical violence, intimidation, racial and ethnic discrimination among its other atrocities. As such I will never attend, and I will encourage others not to attend another San Francisco Giants’ game as long as Charles Johnson is associated with the team. As a public trust, the Giants’ have a responsibility to its players and fans to act now.