The San Francisco Giants baseball team has issued a statement distancing itself from owner Charles Johnson’s contribution to a racist ad running on black radio stations in Arkansas in support of Republican Rep. French Hill.

The Giants’ reputation as one of the most inclusive and socially engaged professional sports teams in the nation speaks for itself. We are unaware of Mr. Johnson’s political donations because they are entirely separate from his stake in the Giants ownership group. In no way do the Giants condone this disturbing and divisive political activity.

Johnson, a frequent supporter of Republican causes, has also distanced himself from the ad bought by a group called Black Americans for the President’s Agenda. So far, the only black associated with it has been its leader, Vernon Robinson, a former Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina known for incendiary and unhinged claims against Democrats. He’s buying ads for French Hill and for a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri suggesting Democrats want to lynch black men and abort black women’s pregnancies.


Hill and the Arkansas Republican Party have denounced the ads, but missing is the fact that established Republican contributors have signed on to this poison and that the same sort of stuff appears often in conservative publications.

The blog post I’ve linked on this suggests that this is part of “fire up the base” tactics as mch as it is about discouraging traditionally black Democratic voters. Black vote suppression is a key tenet of national Republican politics.


From the McCovey Chronicles blog, a Giants fan site:

Here’s the separate statement issued by Johnson:

I had absolutely no knowledge that this donation would be used in this manner and I, like the Giants organization, strongly condemn any form of racism and in no way condone the advertisement that was created by this entity.

Charles Johnson was not in the room when the audio finished exporting. He wasn’t there at the script stage. He might not have even heard the ad until today. But he knew what the PAC was about, he knows the research shows that “conservatives” are “highly motivated to vote” when they are alerted to “liberals” possibly showing up in large numbers to the polls.


His statement doesn’t do anything to distance himself from this particular committee, the words hop across lily pads of key terms, and there’s no sense that he finds the association troubling for himself or the team. In fact, “I, like the Giants organization,” is a passive way of letting the business entity take the lead — he’s just echoing what the rest of the group says.