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Giants owner Charles Johnson releases rare statement amid backlash to political contributions


Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


The principal owner of the Giants rarely speaks publicly. Late Friday afternoon, he emerged from the dark to say that his money speaks for himself, and not for the Giants.

Amid the Bay Area backlash to Charles Johnson’s political donations, which have included millions in Republican super PACs and toward President Trump and significant contributions toward far-right candidates such as Laura Loomer and QAnon-curious Lauren Boebert, the billionaire passed along a statement through the Giants that echoed what the club said a day prior: He was horrified at the insurrection in Washington and his financial decisions are not representative of the team.

“Like most of the country, I watched in dismay as our Capitol was overrun last week. I hope that those who engaged in or encouraged violence are held accountable for their behavior,” said Johnson, who has put the organization in a near impossible situation. “I have a long history of giving political contributions to Republican and some Democratic candidates who share my strong belief in a free market system. My contributions are mine alone and are not associated in any way with the San Francisco Giants.”

Beloved Giants public address announcer Renel Brooks-Moon has been among the loudest to lead the outcry in part because of Boebert’s actions, the Colorado Representative tweeting that Nancy Pelosi was leaving the House Chamber as rioters were breaching the capitol, in what may have been a tip to the insurrectionists. Brooks-Moon, who is proudly outspoken and might have spoken out anyway, is a friend of the Pelosi family.

Boebert’s deranged views — or perhaps openness to deranged views — has been known since at least May, when she said “I hope that this is real,” in reference to the delusional QAnon belief. It can be argued Trump’s openness to trying to thwart democracy has been known since he began his run at president. Regardless, Johnson pleaded ignorance.

“It is often difficult to predict the future behavior of candidates and I would never have imagined that any legitimate candidate would participate in undermining the core values of our great country,” the 88-year-old said. “Nor was I aware that any candidate to whom I contributed was associated with QAnon.

“I strongly believe in our democratic system where our elected representatives can engage in vigorous debate in the halls of government, free from violence and intimidation and in a peaceful and respectful manner. I hope we can return to this tradition that has served our great country so well for so long.”

Underscoring the statement is a message to fans: Do not take this out on the club. Johnson was last in the news in 2018, when his political contributions included money toward Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith, who had come under fire for apparently joking about a public hanging. In the aftermath, many fans ripped the Giants and some called for boycotts.

Johnson employed the same strategy the team did: Blame his ignorance on him alone.

“Our organization has a longstanding policy that prohibits company campaign contributions to candidates for federal office,” the Giants said Thursday. “Individual contributions of employees and investors are considered personal in nature.”

 

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