Activists: Boycott SF Giants after owner’s controversial political donation

Bay Area

There is controversy on Monday surrounding an owner of one of the Bay Area’s Major League Baseball teams.

In fact, some civil rights activists say they are now boycotting and asking others to join them.

“We should call for an all-out boycott,” San Francisco NAACP president Rev. Amos Brown said.

“So, I call upon any person of goodwill who appreciates these issues to boycott,” Civil Rights Attorney John Burris said.

The NAACP and Burris have joined together in calling for a boycott of the San Francisco Giants. This comes on the heels of learning that Johnson made a financial contribution to a Mississippi politician who, while on the campaign trail, allegedly made racially insensitive comments about attending a public lynching.

Burris says the comments are particularly troubling when viewed through the historical lens of the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till.

“I was a boy when Emmett Till was killed, and it scared me, and I was in California and all of the kids of our generation, that this could happen to us,” Burris said.

“This is Charlie Johnson’s words,” Johnson’s attorney Joe Cochett said. “‘Joe, if she is a racist, I will not support her. I will get my money back.'”

Johnson’s legal representative Cochett says his client and longtime friend was unaware of any racially charged comments when donated a pair of checks on behalf of himself and Mrs. Johnson.

“I will tell you this from my knowledge of Charlie–if he had known that she made that comment with the implications that you and I know, public hanging, there could be no mistake, I doubt, I mean, I know that he would not have written her a check,” Cochett said.

Giants President and CEO Larry Baer released a statement reading in part, “The Giants have more than 30 owners. Just like our fans, they come from different backgrounds and have their own political views. Many give to Democratic causes, many to Republican causes and some refrain from politics altogether. Neither I nor anyone else at the Giants can control who any of our owners support politically, just as we cannot and should not control whom any of our employees support politically.”

The supporters of the boycott say if the money is returned or if the Giants part ways with Johnson as part owner of the team, the boycott will come to an end.

Johnson’s attorney, however, says his client has no intention of relinquishing ownership of the baseball team.

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